Man convicted of killing Kaylin Gillis sentenced to 25 years to life for murder

Man gets 25 years to life for murder charge

Kevin Monahan gets 25 years to life on second-degree murder charge for shooting and killing Kaylin Gillis.

Kevin Monahan sentenced to 25 years to life on murder charge

The Washington County man convicted of shooting and killing Kaylin Gillis in his driveway last April has been sentenced to 25 years to life in prison for the murder, plus a smaller consecutive sentence for tampering with evidence. That brings the total to 26 1/3 to 29 to years to life in prison.

The Washington County man convicted of shooting and killing Kaylin Gillis in his driveway last April has been sentenced to 25 years to life in prison for the murder, plus a smaller consecutive sentence for tampering with evidence. 

Kevin Monahan, 66, of Hebron, was found guilty of second-degree murder, reckless endangerment and tampering with physical evidence after a two-week trial in January. 

As Monahan was being led out of the courtroom, Gillis’ family and friends shouted “Bye Kevin,” “you coward” and “justice served.”  

The sentence followed emotional victim impact statements from Gillis’ father, her boyfriend Blake Walsh and Alexandra Whiting, a friend that was with her that night.  

“She had a contagious smile that could light up a room and a heart that overflowed with kindness and love,” said Kaylin’s father, Andrew Gillis. “She was our pride, our joy and we loved her with all of our heart.” 

“Losing her has left us with an undeniable void in our life – one that can never be filled,” he continued. “Every day, we wake up to the harsh reality that she is no longer here.” 

Gillis’ friend Alexandra Whiting said she wishes she had told Gillis more that she was her best friend. She also said that she lives her life in fear now.  

Whiting directed one of her comments toward Monahan.  

“Once in a while, I feel slightly bad for you, wondering what made you turn out this way and why, and wondering if you truly feel guilty about what you did,” she said. “You made a decision that altered all of our lives forever, all because you spent three minutes in fear.” 

“You took the life of someone who never was a threat to you, not for a second,” said Blake Walsh, Gillis’ boyfriend. “Kaylin was a sweet and loving soul. Everything you wished you could be,” he continued. “If it were my decision, you’d be under the jail.” 

In outlining his sentencing request, Assistant District Attorney Christian Morris used terms like “truth” and “mercy.” 

Morris said Monahan deserves no mercy. He is a liar – repeatedly lying to the police that night during this trial. He is also a thief.  

“We just heard from the witnesses on that stand, what is stolen from them in this case,” he said.  

Not only did they lose Kaylin, but they also lost their innocence, Morris said. Their world view has been replaced by cynicism, skepticism and wondering what evil motives people have. 

“The joys of life are now filled with sorrow. They’re clouded by grief. Their life itself is now always going to be measured against this event. It would be difficult to escape these impacts. The peace that they were going to have in their life is now replaced with fear and distrust. Fear is a tormentor.”  

Morris said one of the basic questions that people have when they talk to him about this case is why. Why did Monahan shoot?  

The only reasons he can think of is hate and anger. 

Morris pointed out that Monahan had a shotgun by his bedside and there was a pistol on the other nightstand.  

Morris said Monahan deserves no mercy. Morris questioned Monahan’s comment on the stand that he has a “hole in his soul” knowing he killed someone. That statement falls flat because he didn’t act that way on that night – or afterward.  

Monahan already has been given mercy.  

“He gets to live his life every single day,” he said.  

Morris said countless people have been affected by Monahan’s actions and people need to know that this behavior is not acceptable. 

The only thing that the court can take away from him is time. 

“All of it. All of his time – every year, every month, every week, day and hour. All of his time is what justice here today demands and that’s not from a vengeful place,” Morris said. 

He asked for the maximum sentence on all charges – 25 years to life for the murder and 2 1/3 to 7 on reckless endangerment to run concurrently. 

Morris requested that the tampering with physical evidence needs to run consecutively.  

“You cannot tamper with a murder weapon to get away with murder and not be punished for that,” he said.  

The maximum sentence requested was 29 years to life. 

Defense attorney Arthur Frost said there was “never going to be a happy ending” regardless of the verdict. He said his heart breaks for the Gillis family and the Monahan family.  

Frost said early on his 27-year career as a defense attorney he said to himself “if you can’t find something to love in your client, you should not represent him.” And Kevin Monahan is no different. 

“What I love in him is how he loves his wife,” he said. 

Frost said from everything he has read about Kaylin Gillis, she was a vibrant member of the community, which is diminished by her loss. When something so “grotesque” like her death happens, there is a tendency to want vengeance.  

“It would be easy to put him in a cage, lock the door, throw away the key, melt the lock,” he said.  

He asked the judge to take into consideration that his client has no criminal record and not to impose the maximum sentence.  

“I’ve seen his remorse. He lives with the fact knowing that because of his actions – under any way that you view them – because of his actions, this poor young woman is dead,” Frost said.   

“I don’t come to ask you for mercy. I ask you to rebuff vengeance and to do what is just.”  

When Judge Adam Michelini asked Monahan if he wanted to speak, he said “no thank you, your honor.”  

Michelini said that when imposing sentence, he takes into account both deterrence for society at large and the defendant.

“It’s obvious you feel justified. You don’t take any responsibility for your actions.”

Judge Adam Michelini

“I think it’s important that people know that it’s not OK to shoot people and kill them who drive down their driveway,” he said, adding that driving into wrong driveway is a pretty common occurrence in Washington County.  

“The choice you made in this case is absolutely not acceptable,” he said. 

Michelini said that people who commit murder generally do not commit that crime again if they are released from prison. However, he said he believes Monahan could do the same thing again.  

“It’s obvious you feel justified. You don’t take any responsibility for your actions,” Michelini said.  

Michelini ripped Monahan for making a joke to the jury about finally being able to see his face when he testified. Monahan had been wearing a mask for the early part of the trial.  

Michelini made it clear what he thought of Monahan’s testimony. 

“You senselessly took the life of Kaylin Gillis, and you have the gall to say you plan to finish the work on your house and race motorcross in the future,” Michelini said.  

Michelini went on to say that when his attorney was asking him about how he felt that night and taking responsibility, he continued to say that he felt like he and his wife were being invaded.  

“Your first instinct was to lie about what happened and your repeatedly lied in a cold and calculating manner. The jury saw right through your lies,” the judge said. “You took away so much unrealized potential – her potential to enrich other people’s lives and contribute to our society.” “You also traumatized the young men and women who mistakenly drove up your driveway that night,” he added. 

Michelini concluded that Monahan deserves to spend the maximum time in prison. He sentenced him to 25 years to life on the second-degree murder charge and 2 1/3 to 7 years on the reckless endangerment charge to run concurrently. 

The 1 1/3 to 4 years in prison on the tampering charge will run consecutively to other sentences.  

Michelini said there was a significant time delay from when the police showed up that Monahan was able to conceal evidence. That is why he counts it as a separate act.  

Monahan’s attorneys plan an appeal.  

NewsChannel 13 has a crew at the scene and will bring updates on air and online.