Friends and family of Kaylin Gillis, 20, jeered her killer as he was escorted out of court to serve a 25-year prison sentence.
Kevin Monahan, 66, was found guilty Friday of second-degree murder, reckless endangerment and tampering with physical evidence after a two-week trial in January.
Monahan, a native of Hebron, shot and killed Gillis after the pickup truck he was riding in mistakenly stopped on his rural road in upstate New York last April.
The decision came after a series of heartbreaking emotional impact statements from Gillis’s father, as well as her boyfriend Blake Walsh, who was driving, and her friend Alexandra Whiting, who was another passenger on the fateful night.
The courtroom, which was filled with people wearing shirts and sweaters in memory of Gillis, rejoiced as Monahan was escorted out of the courtroom after being sentenced to 25 years behind bars.
Friends and family of Kaylin Gillis, 20, jeered her killer Kevin Monahan (pictured) as he was escorted out of court to serve a 25-year prison sentence.
Monahan is on trial for the April 2023 fatal shooting of 20-year-old Kaylin Gillis, who was shot in the neck after a car she was riding in accidentally drove into the gunman’s driveway.
Gillis (right) was in the car with her boyfriend and two friends when they got lost on Monahan’s winding dirt road. She says she “will never be able to forgive” Monahan for killing her.
Gillis’ family and friends shouted “Goodbye Kevin,” “coward” and “justice has been served” as he was led away in handcuffs.
The defense asked for clemency. Monahan declined the opportunity to speak.
“I think it’s important for people to know that it’s not okay to shoot people and have them killed for turning into a driveway,” Judge Adam Michelini said.
Aside from the broader deterrent effect, Michelini said it’s important that Monahan remain behind bars rather than be free to harm more people.
The night of Gillis’ death, the group of friends realized their mistake and turned around when Monahan fired a second shot, hitting Gillis in the neck as she sat in the front passenger seat of a pickup truck driven by her boyfriend.
Monahan maintained that the fatal shot was an accident and that the shotgun was defective. He also said he believed the home about 40 miles (65 kilometers) north of Albany was “under siege” by intruders, and said he went outside to fire a warning shot to try to scare away the group while his wife he was hiding inside.
Prosecutors argued that Monahan was motivated by irrational anger toward the intruders.
A jury deliberated for less than two hours before returning guilty verdicts in January against Monahan for murder, reckless endangerment and tampering with physical evidence.
Gilis’ father previously spoke of his pain at losing his daughter so suddenly and said he hopes Monahan “dies in jail.”
A New York State Court police officer holds Kevin Monahan’s shotgun during summaries in Monahan’s murder trial.
Kaylin Gillis’ father Andrew addressed the media after Monahan’s first court appearance in April, where he said he hoped the shooter “dies in jail.”
According to Zillow, Kevin Monahan’s house was built in 2004 and cost an estimated $310,000 and is only accessible via an unpaved road.
Gillis’ father, Andrew Gillis, described his daughter as someone who loved animals and dreamed of becoming a marine biologist or veterinarian.
‘Every day we wake up to the harsh reality that she is no longer here. We will never see her beautiful face or hear her laugh,” Gillis said in court Friday before Monahan’s sentence was announced.
Her boyfriend, Blake Walsh, was behind the wheel of the truck that night. “I can never forgive you,” he said to Monahan, who looked at him with a stony expression.
“You took the life of someone who was never a threat to you, not for a second,” Walsh said.
‘Kaylin was a sweet and loving soul. Everything you wished you could be,” she continued. “If it were my decision, you would be in jail.”
Whiting, Gillis’s friend, told the killer: “From time to time, I feel a little bad for you, wondering what made you turn like this and why, and wondering if you really feel guilty about what you did.”
“You made a decision that altered all of our lives forever, all because you spent three minutes in fear,” he said.