Prosecutors ‘grateful’ for guilty verdict in driveway shooting trial

The prosecutors and family of Kaylin Gillis said they are grateful for the verdict that found Kevin Monahan guilty of shooting and killing the Schuylerville woman in the driveway of his Hebron home last April.  

Monahan, 66, was found guilty of second-degree murder, reckless endangerment and tampering with physical evidence after a two-week trial that involved 24 prosecution witnesses including Monahan’s wife Jinx Monahan. Kevin Monahan was the sole defense witness. 

“The actions of Kevin and Jinx Monahan on the night of April 15 really wrecked an unimaginable tragedy on not only Kaylin’s family but also all of the kids that were in those vehicles. Today’s verdict, I hope is a small step forward for each of them to really begin to move onto the next chapter of their healing,” said Washington County District Attorney Tony Jordan in a news conference.  

Sentencing is scheduled for March 1 at 9 a.m.   

Jordan said prosecutors will be asking for the maximum sentence of 25 to life on the murder charge. The minimum is 15 years. The reckless endangerment sentence will run concurrently.  

Also, they are seeking 1 1/3 to 4 years in prison for tampering with physical evidence to run consecutively.  

The jury deliberated for around two hours after receiving the case on Tuesday afternoon at around 2:30 p.m. This followed close to an hour of closing arguments form the defense team in the morning and 2 hours and 20 defense minutes from the prosecution.  

The jury came back once at around 4 p.m. before reaching the verdict to seek clarification on the difference between murder and manslaughter. They wanted a readback of testimony from Monahan’s wife, Jinx Monahan, that said her husband shot at small varmints, squirrels and vehicles.

Less than a half hour later, the jury of seven men and five women rendered its verdict.  

The large contingent of friends and family could be heard crying and then expressing relief and hugging when the guilty was read. 

District Attorney Jordan said he spoke with members of the family after the verdict. 

“Today is certainly a difficult day, there’s relief – that the system works, that there’s justice for Kaylin and that’s a good part of the day for them.

“The bad part … is they’re going to walk out the door and they’re still not going to have Kaylin,” he added.  

Jordan said his office spent a lot of time on the case before the grand jury and determined that there was no evidence to support criminality on Jinx Monahan’s part.  

“I think she had a moral responsibility that she chose not exercise when that opportunity was presented,” he said. 

Jordan thanked the jury for their time spent listening to things that “no one wants to hear.” He also thanked his office staff and investigators that worked on the case.  

Jordan also singled out the teens who testified. 

“To listen to them tell their stories and endure cross-examination, that’s an amazingly difficult situation, he said.  

He also credited the neighbors for coming forward and sharing their testimony. 

And he praised the lead prosecutor, First Assistant District Attorney Christian Morris for “his calm presence, his demeanor, his grasp of the facts and the law and just the way he conducts himself.”  

Jordan said most importantly he hopes that the verdict sends a message of hope that the system works. 

“You have to be patient and have to realize that bad people do bad things,” he said.   

He also praised the work on Arthur Frost for being a “zealous advocate” for his client and contributing to a “smooth and efficient trial.”  

As for the efforts by Frost to bring up that kids were drinking and doing marijuana, Jordan said he had an obligation to defend his client.  

“As a parent, I take a different view,” Jordan said. “The presence or not of that had nothing to do with what those kids observed. I would imagine that also had an effect on the jury.”

Morris said his reaction to the verdict was “thankfulness.” He is glad that the 12 people reached a verdict that can give the Gillis family and friend some hope.  

“You go through something like this and there’s despair and you’re searching for something to give you direction, for whatever ways I can give them to see there is a great path to hope,” he said.  

Attorney Donald Boyijian, who represents the Gillis family, said he is also grateful for the “tremendous” and “stellar” performance of the district attorney’s office.  

“It’s a just result,” he said.  

Still, he said it doesn’t change the result that the family has lost a beautiful daughter.