FORT EDWARD — The Washington County man accused of firing a shotgun at a car full of friends that had mistakenly pulled into his driveway last month, killing a 20-year-old woman from Schuylerville, pleaded not guilty to an indictment Wednesday to several new charges stemming from the incident.
Kevin Monahan, 65, of Hebron, was, for the third time, remanded to the Warren County Jail following a court appearance Wednesday for his alleged role in the killing of Kaylin Gillis on April 15. He was previously arraigned on second-degree murder charges but now also faces felony charges of reckless endangerment and tampering with physical evidence after being indicted on the charges earlier this month.
Washington County Court Justice Adam Michelini deemed Monahan a flight risk despite objections from his attorney, Kurt Mausert, who argued that his client’s constitutional rights were being violated. Monahan is being held at the Warren County Jail because Gillis’s father is a corrections officer with Washington County.
Washington County District Attorney Anthony Jordan said that Monahan was reckless in his actions, which allegedly includes firing a pair of shotgun blasts at a car full of friends that mistakenly pulled into his Hebron driveway in rural Washington County on April 15 while on their way to a party.
One of the slugs passed through the vehicle’s C-pillar, which is located behind the rear driver-side seat before striking Gillis, who was sitting in the front passenger seat, according to Jordan.
@dgazette Not guilty plea in Washington County driveway killing of Schuylerville’s Kaylin Gillis; Defendant denied bail – 5/24/23 ♬ original sound – Daily Gazette
He noted that the evidence against Monahan is substantial and shows that no one exited the vehicle and that the car was driving away from the house when the shots were fired.
The group had to travel more than six miles to neighboring Salem in order to call 911, due to spotty cell phone reception. Police have said that Monahan barricaded himself inside his home and took more than an hour to surrender.
“The evidence is stronger than it was the day you set bail,” Jordan told the judge.
Jordan also turned over all evidence to the defense and notified the court that he is ready to go to trial.
Michelini gave the defense until July 10 to file motions and scheduled a July 28 court date to hear any additional arguments. He also set a Sept. 7 start date for the trial, a move that Mausert objected to.
“I won’t be ready by that date,” he said.
Mausert also requested that the July 10 court date be rescheduled due to the amount of evidence that still needed to be sorted through and an upcoming family vacation.
But Michelini denied the requests.
“I’m going to keep this moving,” he said.
@dgazette Not guilty plea in Washington County driveway killing of Schuylerville’s Kaylin Gillis; Defendant denied bail – 5/24/23 DailyGazette.com – Daily Gazette
Mausert told reporters following the proceedings that the trial would not start in September, adding that he would appeal to the state’s appellate division to have the trial delayed.
“This is not a simple case and it will prejudice my client in the extreme to force me to go to trial in this short time period,” he said. “I’m just not going to do it. He [Michelini] can throw me in jail for contempt if he wants to.”
Mausert also said he has concerns about not being able to meet with Monahan in private, noting he met with his client at the Warren County Jail on three occasions and a correction officer was present throughout each meeting.
He said that he is considering filing an appeal to have Monahan released on bail, adding that no judge in the area would be willing to set bail due to the amount of media attention the case has received.
Mausert also said, by keeping his client locked up, the judge was denying his constitutional rights and laying the groundwork for an appeal.
“I am not going to prepare for a trial on a murder case with a correction officer within earshot,” he said. “Not happening. I will not do it. It would be malpractice.”
Jordan, during the court proceeding, said he would assist in ensuring that Mausert has access to his client.
He declined to comment on Mausert’s claims that he would not be ready for a September trial, saying only that the defense has “a lot of evidence to digest.”
“We will be ready and we’re ready today,” Jordan said.