Testimony, 911 recordings paint vivid picture of night Kaylin Gillis was killed

Testimony, 911 recordings paint vivid picture of night Kaylin Gillis was killed

Testimony began Thursday afternoon with the playing of 911 recordings showing the moments after Kaylin Gills was shot and the lengthy interactions the dispatcher had with the man accused of killing her, Kevin Monahan, in their efforts to speak with officers.

Testimony began Thursday afternoon with the playing of 911 recordings showing the moments after Kaylin Gills was shot and the lengthy interactions the dispatcher had with the man accused of killing her, Kevin Monahan, in their efforts to speak with officers.  

Jurors also heard from Monahan’s wife about his actions on the night of April 15.  

Monahan, 66, is charged with second-degree murder in the shooting death of Gillis, who was a passenger in an SUV that had mistakenly turned into his driveway.  

The incident took place at about 9:45 p.m. on April 15 at Monahan’s house at 1263 Patterson Hill Road in Hebron. However, because cell service is poor in the area, the first two calls that Gillis’ friends placed to 911 did not go through and were hangup calls.  

The friends drove to Cemetery Road in Salem and tried again.   

The dispatcher, Kelsey Carpenter, called back and it went to voicemail. The dispatch center has the technology to pinpoint the approximate location of the call, depending on whether the phone is compatible with their program and the caller is on the line for long enough. 

One of Gillis’ friends made contact on the fourth call that was played back for the court. The teens report that Gillis has been shot in the neck and one believes she is dead. They are lost. 

“You guys have no idea where you are. You don’t see any signs?” the dispatcher said.   

They are instructed to stay put, see if they can use their phone to pull up a map of the location. Then they are instructed to get Gillis out of the car in an effort to do CPR.  

While she is talking to the teens, her colleagues at the dispatch center are taking calls from people reporting hearing shots fired and seeing vehicles go up and down the road.  

Police cars begin to be dispatched to the house. Kevin Monahan then makes a call to dispatchers about why there is a large light being shone on his house.  

The dispatcher said there was a noise complaint. He said there wasn’t any noise he could think of other than there were some hunters recently with dogs. 

At one point, Monahan said “I’ve been sound asleep. I’m an old man,” he said.  

“I tried to keep him on the line as much as I could to get as much information,” Carpenter said. 

Monahan was repeatedly asking how much longer the officers were going to be and what the issue was.

“I wish they’d get out of my yard so I could go back to bed.” 

He said he did not want to go down his driveway to meet with police officers.  

The officers made multiple attempts to get Monahan to come down and talk to them and he refused.  

“I advised the police units on scene that he disconnected and told them he needed to make a phone call,” Carpenter said.  

During his cross-examination, Frost asked why she said there was a noise complaint. 

“What you told Mr. Monahan is that police were there to investigate a party they wanted to shut down,” he said.  

“Yes,” she replied.  

“That wasn’t true. When Mr. Monahan said he had been asleep since 8:30, that was in response to your saying they were there to shut down a party,” Frost said. 

The last witness was Kevin Monahan’s wife, Jinx Monahan, who has lived at the Patterson Hill Road house for about 30 years.  

She described how Kevin woke her up and told her to go into the closet while he went to investigate what was going on outside. 

Jinx said she heard Kevin go downstairs to the first floor and open the door of the deck.  

She heard the motorcycle revving. Then she testified she heard one shot and then another. 

Then they went downstairs and sat at the kitchen table.  

When asked by Morris if her husband said why he shot his gun, she said. 

“I didn’t know he shot his gun. I heard two shots.” 

Morris asked Jinx Monahan about what he and her husband talked about when they were sitting at the kitchen table.  

That prompted an objection from attorney Frost, who claims that spousal privilege applied. 

After the jury was excused, there was a brief discussion on the objection. Jinx Monahan had conversations with her husband while he was in jail in which he told her to testify honestly before the grand jury.  

After a brief recess and discussion, Judge Adam Michelini overruled the objection. He believes both parties waived the privilege.  

“So while you were talking about how scared you were, he didn’t tell you he was the one who shot the gun,” Morris asked.  

“I don’t recall that.” 

Frost objected again later because he had an issue with where the line of questioning was going to go.  

After the jury was excused, Frost said he believes Morris’ next questions would elicit responses from Jinx Monahan that her husband was seeking to call an attorney.  

“My position is that’s forbidden. There should be no testimony about his asserting his right to counsel,” Frost said. 

Morris said his issue is that this testimony is going to dovetail into other issues with later witnesses. 

“Police are going to have to explain why they left the residence. It’s at the request of the lawyer,” he said.  

Frost said he continues to object.  

“If that testimony comes out, I’m going to object and I’m going to move for right to a mistrial.”  

‘Depraved indifference’ or ‘tragic accident’?

Earlier in the day, both the prosecution and defense gave their opening arguments.

First Assistant District Attorney Christian Morris began by quoting Monahan’s words to dispatchers.   

“I wish they’d get out of my yard so I can go back to bed,” Morris said.   

This was what Monahan was saying about police who had come to his residence to investigate a shooting.   

Morris said that a group of friends were headed to meet up with another friend in Hebron when they had gotten lost. There were driving two SUVs and one was riding a motorcycle.  
They turned up Monahan driveway’s, which was dark and there were no lights illuminated at the house.   

The motorcyclist goes up ahead to get a closer look and realizes that it is clearly not the right house. He then starts to turn back. However, Morris said his 1981 Yamaha stalls and he needs to rev it to get to start back up again so he can coast down.   

“The sum total of time that they were in the location is less than 3 minutes. That’s something you’ve got to pay attention to in this trial,” he said.   

The vehicles head up the driveway to do a 3-point turn, so they can reverse direction.  
One of the teens sees Monahan on the porch and he is holding a gun in his left hand.  

They hear the first shot. They are just starting down the driveway when they hear the second shot.   

The second shot goes through the metal column between the rear passenger seat and window and strikes Gillis in the neck, Morris said.  

The teens grab their phones to turn on the flashlight and then start trying to find directions to a hospital when they realize that Gillis has been shot.  

First responders begin to converge on the scene. One of them happens to be in the area and stops to render assistance. It is soon apparent that no life-saving measures could be undertaken.   

Neighbors heard the gunshots.   

After firing the shots, Morris said Monahan goes back inside with his wife for about 20 to 25 minutes before police arrive. They are trying to get Monahan to come out and he won’t. He calls dispatchers to ask why they are there. The dispatcher says they are investigating a noise complaint. And Monahan said there have been hunters with dogs shooting in the area.   

He is repeatedly telling the dispatchers about how much longer will officers will be there and he wants to go back to bed.   

Morris said this call is crucial because it proves state of mind. Monahan acted recklessly and with depraved indifference, The 911 calls show no nervousness or shaking in his voice.   

“To be indifferent is to not care,” he said.   

“There’s no intentional murder in this case. This is a case about somebody who has recklessly caused the death of another person with depraved interference to human life.” 

In addition, investigators came to the scene looking for the shotgun shells and were not able to find it, even with use of a police dog.   

That is where the tampering charge comes in.  

Frost objected to mentioning of the dog and after a sidebar, that was excluded from the record.   

Morris said no fingerprints were found on the grip oof the handgun and insufficient DNA evidence. Monahan also had time to change his clothes.  

In his opening statement, defense attorney Arthur Frost said the shooting of Gillis was a terrible accident. He said the jury will hear that the gun was defective and a State Police ballistics expert will testify that during tests she conducted, it fired once when no one pulled the trigger.   

Frost had a different view of events. He said his client and his wife Jinx are elderly and fell asleep watching television upstairs in bed. Kevin Monahan was awakened to a sound of a motorcycle revving its engine in the driveway.   

He gives Jinx a revolver and some bullets and tells her to hide in a closet. He then goes onto his wraparound deck and sees two SUVs parked about 100 feet a head which are blocking the only way out of this house for this “old man and old women.”   

Monahan puts on some flip-flops and exits his residence, according to Frost.   

Frost said the motorcyclist, who is about 20 feet way, does not say anything and does not get off the motorcycle or acknowledge Monahan in any way.  

Monahan holds his gun up in the air. He doesn’t point it.   

“It’s like a rattlesnake’s rattle. It’s a warning. Stay back. I can defend myself. Please leave now.” Frost said.   

The motorcyclist starts to head back down the driveway, Frost said. Monahan believes the threat may be over. However, the motorcycle stops where the SUVS are, which still remain parked and are not moving.   

Monahan then moves to the side of the wraparound porch and fires a warning shot int the air. The motorcycle starts to leave.  

Monahan follows along the porch to see what the vehicles are doing. The initial vehicles start to get closer to the house. Then, they start to leave.   

“He’s walking and he’s looking and he’s walking and he’s looking, and he stumbles and he bangs the gun and it goes off,” he said.   

The SUVs leave and Monahan believes the threat is over: “Thank God nobody got hurt.”   

He then tells his wife the threat is over.  

“He wraps his arms around her. She’s crying and sobbing. It’s over Jinx.”  

“Despite this, you’ll act you to convict this man, this vicious, heinous, black-hearted evil crime,” Frost said.   

Frost said fear is the most primal emotion people have. He was afraid. He didn’t know all the facts at the time.   

“We know that these are teenagers and not a band of marauding bikers Keivn didn’t know that,” he said.   

Frost asked the jury to think about if his client had an evil heart, why not fire at the SUVs when they were closer and not in the process of leaving.   

Frost said maybe it was wrong or dumb for his client to go outside, bring a gun, wear flipflops, but that does not rise to the level to prove that charge.   

“At the end you will have to decide. Is he monster with an evil, wicked, black heart.” Frost said.   

Morris objected to the word monster and after a brief sidebar, the jury was asked to disregard the word monster. Frost reworded his statement.  

“You will have to decide if there is an evilness, a wickedness, a wantonness, a heinous disregard for the value of human life. Or was he a dumb, scared old man with a defective gun that will shoot when no one pulls the trigger.”   

“In the end, I’m going to ask you say two words: ‘not guilty,’ because this was a terrible accident and somebody should have realized that by now.”