Testimony in driveway shooting trial to resume Tuesday
Testimony will resume Tuesday in the trial of the Washington County man accused of shooting and killing a Schuylerville woman in his driveway last April.
Kevin Monahan, 66, is charged with second-degree murder in the shooting death of Kaylin Gillis.
There is no court Monday because of the Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday.
Gillis’ friends are expected to take the stand to describe the what happened the night of the shooting.
Gillis was a passenger in an SUV that had mistakenly turned into Monahan’s driveway at 1263 Patterson Hill Road on the night of April 15.
After three days of juror prescreening and selection, opening statements in the trial began on Thursday morning.
Washington County District Attorney Tony Jordan said law enforcement personnel from the Washington County Sheriff’s Office and New York State Police will be taking the stand.
First Assistant District Attorney Christian Morris, the lead prosecutor, outlined in his opening statements how a night out with friends ended in tragedy.
The incident happened in less three minutes. After realizing their mistake, the group began to exit the driveway. Monahan is accused of firing a shot and then another. The second one struck the passenger side of the SUV and killed Gillis.
“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,” Frost said.
Defense attorney Arthur Frost has said that Monahan did not intend to fire the fatal shot. He portrayed his client as a “scared old man” and the incident was a tragic accident. Frost said his client fired the first shot as a warning and stumbled on this deck, causing the gun to drop and discharge.
Frost has claimed that the gun was defective and said a state police investigator will testify that it discharged once when it was being tested.
“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,” Frost said.
During the first two days of testimony, the jury heard from Monahan’s wife, Jinx Monahan, who was very quiet on the stand during Morris’ questions.
However, when questioned by Frost, she said she was “terrified” and her husband is her “protector.” Morris requested that he be allowed to treat Jinx Monahan as a hostile witness because he said she seemed to be giving very “rehearsed” answers.
Judge Adam Michelini granted Morris’ request. Michelini said Jinx seemed to be able to turn her demeanor as a scared woman on and off and had not made any statements detailing that level of fear during her testimony before the grand jury.
The jury of nine men and three women have heard about the efforts of Gillis’ boyfriend and her friends to get help. They traveled to Cemetery Road to get a cell signal.
The jury also has heard from neighbors who reported seeing the vehicles go up Monahan’s driveway and coming back down a few minutes later.
On Friday, the jurors also heard from police officers about the efforts to get Kevin Monahan to come out of his home and talk to police.