The father of Kaylin Gillis, the 20-year-old upstate woman who was shot dead when she accidentally pulled into a wrong driveway, expressed his “profound relief” over her killer’s conviction – saying she finally “got her justice.”
Kevin Monahan, 66, was convicted of second-degree murder Tuesday after less than an hour of jury deliberation following a two-week trial in Gillis’ death.
Her dad, Andrew Gillis, took to Facebook to express his gratitude to the community, authorities and the court system.
“Thank you to everyone who has reached out to my family and me over the past 9 months after the untimely passing of our beloved daughter, Kaylin,” Gillis wrote.
“We will never have full closure from the events of that fateful day but do feel justice has prevailed with the GUILTY ON ALL CHARGES verdict that was announced earlier today,” he wrote, citing the DA’s office, judge, courts, police agencies and family members for their work and support.
“While we would trade anything to bring Kaylin back, this was the best possible outcome short of her still being here with us.
“KAYLIN GOT HER JUSTICE. Much love to all!” Gillis wrote.
“The prosecution team’s meticulous attention to detail, their relentless pursuit of justice and their incredible support for our family have been truly remarkable,” he continued.
“Their expertise and unwavering commitment to upholding the law have been instrumental in securing this guilty verdict. … We hope that this outcome serves as a deterrent to others who may contemplate committing such heinous acts and brings a sense of closure to other families who have experienced similar tragedies,” the grieving dad added.
Gillis and her friends were in a vehicle that was accidentally driven into Monahan’s rural driveway in Hebron while looking for another house on April 15.
Monahan stepped onto his porch with a 12-gauge shotgun and fired two shots at the SUV, striking Gillis — who was seated in the passenger seat — in the neck.
Her boyfriend was behind the wheel and was in the process of pulling out of Monahan’s driveway when the homeowner opened fire.
During the trial, Monahan argued that the second shot was the result of his gun malfunctioning, and that he had no intention of firing the fatal round.
“I didn’t mean to shoot the second shot … the gun went off,” he testified, claiming he thought his house was “under siege” by a caravan of marauders when Gillis pulled in, and so fired a warning shot to scare them off.
He claimed he then tripped on nails sticking out of his deck and dropped his gun, causing it to go off and strike Gillis.
But prosecutors presented a much different picture of the man, who was described by arresting officers as showing “no remorse” for what he’d done, saying he “acted out of anger.”
“That’s the only thing that can be inferred from shooting at people within 90 seconds of being on his property,” Assistant DA Christian Morris said during his closing arguments.