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New York man is convicted of the murder of a woman who pulled into the wrong driveway

Kaylin Gillis, 20, was fatally shot after the vehicle she was in, as well as a motorcycle and another vehicle, pulled into the driveway in upstate New York last year.
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A New York man was convicted Tuesday of killing a woman after she and other young people mistakenly pulled into the driveway of his home while looking for a party.

Kevin Monahan, 66, was found guilty Tuesday of second-degree murder, reckless endangerment and tampering in the driveway shooting trial.

Kaylin Gillis, 20, was fatally shot April 15 after the car she was traveling in, as well as another vehicle and a motorcycle, mistakenly pulled into Monahan’s driveway in Hebron. They were lost and looking for a party at a different house, in an area without cell service.

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

Washington County District Attorney J. Anthony Jordan told reporters after the verdict that his office's goal had been "to seek justice for Kaylin."

The killing affected not only the young woman's family but also her friends who were there, he said.

"These kids, you all know, they feel responsible."

With the guilty verdict, "those kids know, or they’ll have a basis to know, that there’s nothing that they did that was wrong," he said.

Monahan, who is set to be sentenced on March 1, could face life in prison. The murder charge carries a maximum of 25 years to life, and Jordan said, “We will be asking for the judge to impose the maximum sentence.”

He had testified that the shot that killed Gillis was an accident after he tripped, NBC affiliate WNYT of Albany reported.

Monahan testified at trial that he felt threatened by the appearance of the motorcycle and other vehicles, turned on his floodlights and grabbed a 20-gauge shotgun, according to the station.

He told jurors Friday he saw a motorcycle come all the way up the driveway, felt threatened by the presence of the two other vehicles and thought he was being blocked in, the station reported.

“I’m nervous. Real nervous. Because cars have our driveway blocked and he’s waving them up into our intimate area,” Monahan said.

Monahan said he fired a warning shot. But he said the second shot happened by accident, after he tripped over nails on the deck, WNYT reported.

“I just feel like my soul is dead. There’s just a hole in me. I took someone else’s life. It’s just horrible,” he testified, according to the station.

wrong driveway shooter murder
Defendant Kevin Monahan, center, is flanked by his legal defense during opening statements in his murder trial in Fort Edward, N.Y., on Jan. 11.Will Waldron / Pool/The Albany Times Union via AP file

Walsh has said that they realized they were at the wrong house while looking for a party and that they were leaving when the gunfire occurred.

“We thought we were at the right address,” Walsh told NBC News a few days after the shooting. “We didn’t have any cell service to figure it out. As soon as we figured it out that we were at the wrong location, we started to leave, and that’s when everything happened.”

“My friend said, ‘They’re shooting — go!’ I tried to step on the gas as fast as I could, and that’s when the fatal shot came through,” Walsh said at the time.

The shooting sparked shock and questions about how a simple mistake could have ended in deadly violence.

Blake Walsh and Kaylin Gillis.
Blake Walsh and Kaylin Gillis.Courtesy Blake Walsh

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul at the time called it "senseless" and said, "No one should be shot for showing up to the wrong house."

Testimony ended Friday. The trial lasted around two weeks.

“This is a case where the facts really spoke for themselves,” said Jordan, the district attorney.

He said he spoke with the Gillis family after the verdict.

"Today is certainly a difficult day. There’s relief that the system works, that there’s justice for Kaylin," he said. "So that’s a good part of the day for them. The bad part of the day for them is they’re going to walk out the door and they’re still not going to have Kaylin."

Hebron is a town of around 1,700 in a rural part of the state, around 40 miles northeast of Albany, close to the Vermont border.