FORT EDWARD, New York – Washington County District Attorney Tony Jordan has called for a larger than normal jury pool for the trial of Kevin Monahan, who is accused of shooting and killing 20-year-old Kaylin Gillis in his driveway. The trial is expected to last three weeks. While the number of residents in the rural county is modest, Jordan wants to ensure a thorough jury selection process.
The exact number of jurors in the pool has not been confirmed, but all potential jurors will be prescreened before final selection begins on Monday. Judge Adam Michelini made the decision to call in jurors early, possibly to expedite the completion of initial juror questionnaires.
Monahan, a 66-year-old resident of Hebron, faces second-degree murder charges, as well as charges of reckless endangerment and tampering with evidence. He admits to shooting into an SUV that was turning around in his driveway, resulting in the death of Gillis. The incident gained international media attention.
Gillis and a group of friends had gotten lost in the rural area and were attempting to turn around in Monahan’s driveway when the shooting occurred. Gillis was struck in the neck and later died. The group attempted to call 911, but due to spotty cell phone service, they were unable to reach help immediately. They eventually drove to a neighboring town before successfully contacting emergency services, but it was too late to save Gillis.
When State Police and deputies arrived at Monahan’s home, he claimed he had been asleep since 8:30 p.m. and blamed the shooting on hunters in the area. Monahan allegedly told police to leave him alone and expressed a desire to return to bed.
Sheriff Jeffrey Murphy stated that none of the individuals in the vehicle had left the car or attempted to enter Monahan’s house before he opened fire. Monahan’s attorney will argue that the fatal shot was fired accidentally.
In response to the incident, Gillis’s father has filed a lawsuit against Monahan and his wife, alleging that she knew her husband had a tendency to become agitated when uninvited motorists entered their property.
The trial, which is being heard by Washington County Judge Adam Michelini, is set to begin with jury selection on Monday. The prosecution will present evidence and arguments to prove that Monahan is guilty of second-degree murder, while the defense will attempt to demonstrate that the shooting was accidental.