New York man sentenced to 25 years to life for fatally shooting woman who pulled into wrong driveway

Kevin Monahan, a New York man who fatally shot a woman in a car that turned into the wrong driveway, was sentenced Friday to 25 years to life for his second-degree murder conviction.

Monahan was also sentenced to 2 1/3 to 7 years for reckless endangerment to run concurrently, and 1 1/3 to 4 years for tampering with physical evidence to run consecutively.

On the night of April 15, 2023, Kaylin Gillis, 20, and her friends mistakenly pulled into Monahan’s long, dark driveway in rural Hebron, New York, while they were looking for a friend’s house, authorities said. The group of friends was traveling in two cars and a motorcycle, and Gillis was a passenger in one of the cars, driven by her boyfriend.

Kaylin Gillis is shown in this senior portrait taken on Sept. 7, 2020.Chuchay Stark

Judge Adam Michelini slammed Monahan in court, saying, “Your first instinct was to lie about what happened. And you repeatedly lied in such a cold and calculating manner — and the jury saw right through your lies.”

Monahan, 65, standing on his deck, fired at least two shots toward the group and fatally hit Gillis in the neck, authorities said.

He was convicted in January.

“The defendant’s time is the only thing that we can use to begin to set the scales of justice right,” prosecutor Chris Morris said to the judge Friday before the sentence was imposed. “How much of Kevin Monahan’s time is demanded to begin to set the injustice to just? All of it. All of his time. Every year, every month, every week, day and hour. All of his time is what justice here today demands.”

Morris said the sentence also should serve as a warning to others.

“Every person out there needs to know that you can’t murder someone because they accidentally pulled into your driveway,” he said.

“I’ve seen his remorse,” defense attorney Kurt Mausert said of his client. “He lives with knowing that because of his actions … this poor young woman is dead.”

Defendant Kevin Monahan, left, listens to opening statements in his murder trial, Jan. 11, 2024, at the Washington County Courthouse in Fort Edward, N.Y.Will Waldron/The Albany Times Union via AP, Pool, FILE

Mausert said his heart breaks for the Gillis family and the Monahans, saying both families are “irretrievably shattered.”

“In killing Kaylin Gillis you took away a friend, you took away a girlfriend, you took away a daughter, a granddaughter and a sibling. You took away so much unrealized potential,” the judge said. “You also traumatized the young men and women who mistakenly drove up your driveway that night. This will scar them and traumatize them for the rest of their lives.”

“Any remorse you have isn’t for the harm you caused,” the judge said. “The only regret you have is that you’re finally facing the consequences for your actions. You murdered Kaylin Gillis. You shot at a car full of people and you didn’t care what would happen.”

“You deserve to spend the maximum time in prison allowable under our law,” Michelini said.

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