(HEBRON, N.Y.) — The dad of 20-year-old Kaylin Gillis, who was shot and killed in the passenger seat of a friend’s car when they turned into the wrong driveway, is demanding justice.
“Their friend that they were going to see was a half-mile down the road,” her father, Andrew Gillis, told reporters Wednesday afternoon. “For this man to sit on his porch and fire at a car that posed no threat is just — angers me so badly. And I just hope to God that he dies in jail.”
On Saturday night, Kaylin Gillis and her friends mistakenly pulled into the driveway of 65-year-old Kevin Monahan in rural Hebron, New York, while they were looking for a friend’s house, the Washington County Sheriff’s Office said.
Monahan fired at least two shots toward the group and fatally hit the 20-year-old, authorities said. Andrew Gillis said his daughter’s boyfriend was driving at the time of the shooting.
“There was no reason for Mr. Monahan to feel threatened, especially as it appears the vehicle was leaving at the time,” Washington County Sheriff Jeffrey Murphy said.
Monahan was initially “uncooperative with the investigation and refused to exit his residence to speak with police,” the sheriff’s office said. Monahan was later taken into custody and charged with second-degree murder.
“My daughter was an honor student,” Andrew Gillis told reporters on Wednesday. “She had hopes and dreams of becoming a marine biologist or veterinarian. She loved animals. And this man took that away from us.”
“I have the utmost confidence that the justice system will prevail,” he added. “Kaylin deserves justice.”
Monahan made his first appearance in court on Wednesday afternoon. Monahan’s lawyer argued that he isn’t a flight risk, noting that he’s been in the community for over 30 years and owns his own company, but Monahan was ordered remanded without bail.
Monahan’s attorney, Kurt Mausert, told Albany ABC affiliate WTEN that there were “three vehicles, one of them a loud motorcycle, that are described as coming up my client’s long driveway — a 3-mile driveway — at a high rate of speed, shining their lights in his house late at night.”
“[Monahan] had no idea who they were, what they were doing there. It was not a simple drive in, turn around, drive out, that’s being portrayed again by the sheriff,” Monahan said. “So, the facts of this case are going to have to come out through both witness interviews and the analysis of forensic evidence. It is way too soon to be pronouncing guilt and be pronouncing what someone is thinking, and whether they were entitled to feel fear, or whether they weren’t.”
Mausert added, “We have an elderly gentleman and his elderly wife living out in the dark woods in Washington County with three vehicles that come roaring into his driveway at a high rate of speed, shined their lights at his house, and not leaving when he turns on the floodlights, so certainly there was cause for an element of fear on Mr. Monahan’s part.”
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