Gunowner Who Killed Woman Turning Around in His Driveway Gets 25 to Life

by Tommy Grant

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A tragic story out of New York in which an irresponsible homeowner killed a young woman who was a passenger in a car that pulled into his driveway by mistake should serve as a lesson to all gunowners that it is critical to know when you are in danger and when YOU are the danger.

According to CNN, New York resident Kevin Monahan, 66, was sentenced last week to 25 years to life in prison for shooting and killing 20-year-old Kaylin Gillis, a young woman riding in a car with friends that pulled in Monahan’s rural driveway by mistake while looking for a party at a friend’s house.

Washington County Judge Adam Michelini also sentenced Monahan to additional years for reckless endangerment and tampering with evidence.

During the trial, the homeowner told jurors he and his wife felt “like they were under siege” that night and he felt he needed to protect his spouse.

Following are more details from Spectrum News 1 from the trial:

Monahan told the jury he and his wife fell asleep early while watching a movie in his upstairs bedroom on April 15, 2023, and was awakened by three vehicles in his driveway: two SUVs and a motorcycle with a revving engine. The 66-year-old told his wife to hide in their closet and to stay away from the windows before loading his 20-gauge pump-action shotgun and going outside.

Monahan says he assessed the situation, thought about past criminal activity in the area of his home and remembers being unsure of what the intentions were before firing a warning shot into the air.

The vehicles slowly began the process of leaving, but were slow in doing so, according to Monahan, and as he moved about his deck to get a better look at his driveway, he said he lost his balance on some nails that had come up the winter before when the second fatal shot was fired.

Monahan said he had the gun aimed at the ground prior to this and was unaware anyone was hurt as the vehicles slowly exited his driveway.

Asked why he or his wife didn’t call 911, he said that they don’t use their phones that often and didn’t know where they were.

When pressed by prosecutors to identify the nails in a photograph he allegedly tripped over that caused him to fire the fatal shot, Monahan was not able to.

“He was also asked why he didn’t tell 911 operators that something had happened there, instead showing concern that there were officers in his driveway with spotlights on his house,” Spectrum News 1 reported.

Some gunowners and homeowners mistakenly believe they can use a firearm in any situation around their home. While the Castle Doctrine is the law in many states, allowing homeowners to defend themselves with little question in their homes or curtilage (the area immediately surrounding the home such as a carport or porch), virtually no state prioritizes property over life, meaning it is rarely ever legal to shoot someone stealing or breaking into a car and definitely not driving into or turning around in a driveway.

That’s why it’s a great idea for all gunowners to learn the gun laws in the states where they live or travel and follow them unless they wish to run the risk of making tragic mistakes that can lead to innocent lives lost, land them in jail or at the very least, going broke trying to defend themselves for a questionable defensive action.

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