Convicted: Man Found Guilty of Murder for Shooting Woman in Driveway

FORT EDWARD, N.Y. – A 66-year-old man has been found guilty of second-degree murder for fatally shooting 20-year-old Kaylin Gillis when the SUV she was riding in mistakenly drove into his rural driveway in upstate New York. The jury deliberated for less than an hour before reaching the verdict on Tuesday, also convicting the man, Kevin Monahan, of reckless endangerment and tampering with physical evidence.

The incident took place last April after Gillis and her friends pulled into Monahan’s driveway near the Vermont border while trying to find another house. According to prosecutors, Monahan fired twice from his shotgun, with the second shot hitting Gillis in the neck as she sat in the front passenger seat of an SUV driven by her boyfriend. The young woman was pronounced dead at the scene. The murder conviction carries a maximum sentence of 25 years to life, which the prosecutors have confirmed they will seek at Monahan’s sentencing scheduled for March 1.

The defense argued that the shooting was an accident involving a defective gun, with Monahan himself taking the stand in his own defense to explain his actions. However, the prosecution claimed that Monahan was motivated by irrational rage toward trespassers, emphasizing that he did not care if the group was hurt or killed. The defense also presented evidence that Monahan claimed to have been sound asleep when police showed up at his house later that night.

The tragic incident has drawn similarities to the case of 16-year-old Ralph Yarl in Kansas City, who was wounded by an 84-year-old man after he mistakenly went to the wrong door while trying to pick up his younger brothers. Both cases have sparked discussions about the use of deadly force in situations where people unknowingly enter private property.

During the trial, Donald Boyajian, an attorney and spokesperson for the Gillis family, expressed their gratitude for the trial’s outcome, while emphasizing the heartbreaking loss the family will forever endure. Overall, the outcome of the trial has reignited the debate around the use of deadly force on private property and the consequences it can have on innocent individuals.