FORT EDWARD, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The suspect accused of shooting and killing a young woman when she and her friends accidentally pulled into his driveway returning to court Wednesday and now facing additional charges.
Sixty-five-year-old Kevin Monahan faces one count of murder in the second degree, as well as reckless endangerment and tampering with evidence according to a new indictment issued May 18. Appearing in court Wednesday, the prosecution and defense once again argued their cases to Judge Adam Michelini on the subject of bail.
Monahan’s attorney, Kurt Mausert, entering Monahan’s not guilty plea and using every tool in his arsenal trying to release his client on bond or to at least delay his trial. The prosecution, lead by DA Tony Jordan, standing firm saying not only should Judge Michelini keep Monahan in jail, but also adding that their team is ready for trial at the word go.
“We will be ready. I mean, we’re ready today,” Jordan says during a press conference following the court appearance.
Jordan reiterating to the courtroom the harm caused by Monahan’s alleged two shotgun shells fired at 20-year-old Kaylin Gillis and her friends back on April 15, remains the same.
“The evidence also will show that all of the drivers, the vehicles were leaving the driveway from the residence. Your honor, I think what you also will hear is contrary to what may have been said previously, there’s nothing to support the notion that the victims in any way provoked this response,” Jordan says of the state’s evidence.
Jordan explaining a police investigation reveals the alleged shot from Monahan’s shotgun which pierced the vehicle Kaylin Gillis was sitting in–thus fatally wounding her–entered through the rear support behind the rear driver’s side passenger window, seeming to indicate the vehicle was not facing towards Monahan’s home at the time of the shot.
Jordan explaining to reporters he could not yet clarify the circumstances for adding the evidence tampering charge.
Mausert meanwhile says despite the two additional charges, the second-degree murder charge has been reclassified from “intentional murder” down to “reckless depraved indifference murder.” He argues this removes the “sharp edge of the allegation”, and therefore leaves room for bond.
“I think it’s an acknowledgment that my client’s culpability is not what everyone thought it was when this case was first charged,” Mausert says.
He further claims his client needs to be released because there is no privacy in the Warren County jail to prepare for trial.
“They will not allow me a contact visit without a corrections officer within earshot. I’ll be damned if I’m going to prepare for a murder trial with my client by whispering to him,” Mausert arguing to Judge Michelini.
“The [corrections officer] is standing 15 feet away, and he assured us, hey I’m under instructions not to repeat whatever I hear. Yeah, the kid in the Navy was under instructions not to leak classified material either. How well did that work?” he further emphasizes during the press conference, seemingly referring to 21-year-old Jack Teixeira, a member of the Massachusetts Air National Guard who is accused of leaking highly sensitive documents onto a Discord server back in April.
However, Judge Michelini not giving an inch, setting a motion deadline for July 10 and the prosecution response window for July 24. An initial appearance will be held July 28 to give time for additional hearings and Michelini set jury selection to begin by September 7.
Mausert again pushing back saying that’s not enough time to prepare expert witnesses and co-counsel.
“I’m just not gonna do it. He can throw me in jail for contempt if he wants to, but before that happens, I’m going to go to the appellate division and get a stay. I am not going to see my client’s due process rights to a fair trial subordinate to some judge’s desire to move something along,” he says.
“What’s the harm of giving me an extra three or four months? Why did the Schoharie limousine case take four years to go to trial? Because it was a complicated case and it was a huge amount at stake. That’s why. The state didn’t cram that down the defense’s throat and make them go to trial within three months,” he adds, here referring to the 2018 Schoharie limo crash case which reached a conclusion exactly one week ago with limo operator Nauman Hussain convicted of 20 counts of second-degree manslaughter.
Judge Michelini ultimately saying the change in the second-degree murder charge’s classification was of “no consequence” and maintaining no bond for Monahan.
“It’s the same exact level felony. It’s the same exposure. The exposure is actually your client faces a significant amount of incarceration, the alleged harm remains the same—the victim in this case allegedly killed—so I think, based on those factors, that your client, Attorney Mausert, poses a significant flight risk,” Judge Michelini announcing to the courtroom.