FORT EDWARD, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The trial for Kevin Monahan is set to begin Oct. 30. Monahan is accused of shooting and killing Kaylin Gillis in April after she and her friends mistakenly drove onto Monahan’s driveway. Monahan is charged with murder, reckless endangerment and tampering with physical evidence. The shooting gained national attention.
“The outside attention is, in part, our responsibility as the District Attorney to keep that from the process,” District Attorney Tony Jordan said. “I think there were a lot of important discussions at the time because of what was happening in other parts of the country and I think that had more to do with the attention than anything else.”
The court is taking a unique approach to jury selection, beginning the process one day early. Preliminary jury selection begins Oct. 27; a large pool of prospective jurors will be surveyed about potential conflicts with the trial before questioning from the attorneys begins Oct. 30.
“Jury selection takes as long as it takes to find 12 impartial jurors,” Arthur Frost, Monahan’s lead counsel, said. “We’ll select some alternates as well, it’ll take as long as it takes. I have great confidence that we can select an impartial jury but it may take some time to do that.”
“It will surprise people how serious people take that one admonition: can you be fair and impartial, and then actually abide by it,” Jordan said. “So, the process of getting through it will be perhaps more time consuming than normal but it’s an important part.”
As the trial nears, Judge Adam Michelini ruled on a component of the defense’s case denying witnesses who would argue Monahan was psychologically distressed.
“It only impacts the witnesses that will testify regarding that defense so the defense is unchanged,” Frost said. “This was a terrible, tragic accident.”