The man who fatally shot 20-year-old Kaylin Gillis, who was in a car that mistakenly turned into his driveway, will remain in jail after a judge remanded him back to police custody at a bail hearing Wednesday.
Gillis was one of several passengers in a vehicle, along with several others, that accidentally turned into the wrong driveway Saturday while the group was looking for a friend’s house in rural upstate New York. When the friends realized their mistake and began leaving, 65-year-old Kevin Monahan fired two shots from his front porch, Washington County Sheriff Jeffrey Murphy said in a news conference Monday.
No one is believed to have exited the car, and there was no interaction between Monahan and anyone in the vehicle before shots were fired, Murphy said.
Monahan faces a second-degree murder charge in connection with Gillis’ death. He entered the courtroom Wednesday wearing a dark suit and was shackled at the feet and around his waist.
Prosecutors argued the man’s confrontational and compulsive temperament should be taken into consideration and requested Monahan be returned to police custody without bail.
Monahan’s attorney, Kurt Mausert, said at the bail hearing his client should have been given pretrial release because he had never been arrested or convicted in New York state and has been a local resident for more than 30 years.
“He has no penal law convictions,” Mausert said. “He has significant ties to the community … the roots in this community for him and his wife run deep.”
The attorney has disputed the sheriff’s description of events and has said there were multiple vehicles revving their engines and coming up Monahan’s driveway at “a high rate of speed.”
He said his client was remorseful and felt “horrible that a young girl’s life was lost.”
‘Kaylin deserves justice’
The victim’s father, Andy Gillis, called for justice on Wednesday and described his daughter as a “smart, kind, loving” young woman who had dreams of becoming a marine biologist or veterinarian.
“For this man to sit on his porch and fire at a car with no threat is just … (it) angers me so badly, and I just hope to God that he dies in jail,” Gillis said after Monahan’s bail hearing. “Kaylin deserves justice.”
“Kaylin’s two younger sisters … are going to have to grow up without their older sister,” the father added through tears. “My wife Angel is going to have to go through the rest of her life without her baby girl.”
In a previous statement, Gillis’ family described her as a “talented artist, an honor student, a Disney fanatic” who loved animals and was looking forward to starting college in Florida.
‘We thought we were at the right address’
About two rows in the courtroom were filled with Gillis’ friends and family Wednesday.
Blake Walsh, Gillis’ boyfriend, was also there with his mother and was seen comforted by many people throughout the proceeding.
On Tuesday night, Walsh told NBC in a phone interview he, Gillis and two friends were looking for a party, adding four other friends were traveling in another vehicle and also went up the wrong driveway.
“We thought we were at the right address,” Walsh told NBC. “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 told NBC.
“I want to believe it was instant. I’m hoping it was. I’m praying it was,” he added.
Andy Gillis said Walsh “wanted to marry my daughter,” adding he would have “loved that” for the couple.
CNN’s Steve Coppin contributed to this report.