FORT EDWARD, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Police say that 20-year-old Kaylin Gillis was shot and killed by homeowner Kevin Monahan, 65, when she and a group of friends went to the wrong driveway. Monahan’s lawyer, Kurt Mausert, is now speaking out to shed more light on what happened Saturday night.
“My client was involved in a series of tragic mistakes, made by more than one person, that resulted in the death of a young lady,” Mausert said. “He feels terrible that a life was lost.”
Many wonder how a trespassing issue ended in a young life cut short. Monahan was charged with second-degree murder.
The Washington County Sheriff’s Office is still investigating the fatal shooting. “This is a very sad case of some young adults that were looking for a friend’s house and ended up at this man’s house who decided to come out with a firearm and discharge,” Sheriff Jeffrey Murphy said.
According to Mausert, the gun was used in self-defense. He also said that the sheriff did not accurately depict his client’s circumstances at the time. “The situation where 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 rated speed, shined their lights at his house, and not leaving when he turns on the floodlights,” he said. “So, certainly there was cause for an element of fear on Mr. Monahan’s part.”
Across the country, many laws let people use force to protect themselves. Thirty-eight states have “stand-your-ground” laws. Although New York is not one of them, attorney Peter Pullano from Tully Rinckey said that deadly force can be used in certain situations, including at home.
“Deadly physical force would be allowed if you were to believe that the premises were going to be burglarized or burned, a defense of arson,” he said. “To defend yourself against trespassing, the legal standard that you can use—physical force, not necessarily deadly physical force.”
While the Washington County Sheriff’s Office said that the defendant showed no remorse, Monahan’s attorney said that was not the case, that both his client and his wife are still in shock, feeling terrible about the situation.
In the meantime, the case against Monahan moves forward. He’s due in court on Wednesday for a bail hearing.