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Testimony continues in driveway shooting trial

Defendant Kevin Monahan, left, listens to opening statements in his murder trial, Thursday, Jan. 11, 2024, at the Washington County Courthouse in Fort Edward, N.Y. Monahan, 66, is accused of fatally shooting 20-year-old Kaylin Gillis on the night of April 15, 2023, after she and friends accidentally pulled into his driveway in rural Hebron. He is charged with second-degree murder, reckless endangerment and tampering with physical evidence. (Will Waldron/The Albany Times Union via AP, Pool)
Will Waldron/AP
/
Pool The Albany Times Union
Defendant Kevin Monahan, left, listens to opening statements in his murder trial, Thursday, Jan. 11, 2024, at the Washington County Courthouse in Fort Edward, N.Y. Monahan, 66, is accused of fatally shooting 20-year-old Kaylin Gillis on the night of April 15, 2023, after she and friends accidentally pulled into his driveway in rural Hebron. He is charged with second-degree murder, reckless endangerment and tampering with physical evidence. (Will Waldron/The Albany Times Union via AP, Pool)

The fifth day of the trial of Kevin Monahan, who is accused of killing Kaylin Gillis by shooting at a car in his driveway, included testimony from the accused’s wife.

Monahan, 66, is facing second-degree murder charges. Prosecutors allege he shot at several vehicles that entered the driveway of his Hebron home on the night of April 15th, killing the 20-year-old Schuylerville woman.

The jurors heard opening arguments from the 1st Assistant District Attorney Chris Morris and defense attorney Art Frost Thursday before the prosecution began calling witnesses.

Jinx Monahan, Monahan’s wife, also took the stand after beginning her testimony late Thursday and described the events of the night leading to Kevin Monahan’s decision to take to his porch armed with a shotgun.

Monahan’s testimony continued Friday and she reaffirmed that she did not remember whether her husband had told her that he fired his 20-gauge shotgun when he went outside to ward off the vehicles.

Monahan became emotional at the end of the prosecution’s examination, describing how she and her husband were handcuffed and taken into police custody that evening.

During defense attorney Frost’s examination, Jinx Monahan said she was petrified hiding in the back of her closet when her husband went outside.

She became emotional again describing how Monahan had comforted her after coming back inside following the gunshots.

Morris moved to treat her as a hostile witness, citing the difference in her demeanor when speaking to him versus Frost. She failed to recall several details when under direct examination with him, but gave expansive explanations to Frost.

Morris also said that she had refused to meet with prosecutors before the trial on advice from her attorney.

Judge Adam Michelini approved the motion after Frost refused to answer whether he had met with Monahan before the trial, saying that her grand jury testimony had been inconsistent and confusing, and that her trial testimony expanded greatly on what she had already said on record overwhelmingly in support of the defense’s case.

The prosecution also called multiple first responders to the stand to testify on the care they gave to Gillis in her final moments. Morris displayed graphic images of Gillis’ body, and questioned paramedics on what protocols they followed leading to their pronunciation of her death.

Also called to the stand was Washington County Sheriff’s Office Investigator Corbet Sullivan, who began to outline the interactions between law enforcement and Monahan that night.

Responding officers from the Granville and Cambridge Police Departments also took the stand. They described the at times tense interactions with Monahan after they responded to a shots-fired call at his home on Patterson Hill Road.

The officers repeatedly asked Monahan to come down from his house to speak to them, but he refused. At one point two officers started walking up to Monahan's porch but quickly retreated to the perimeter of the property when he went back inside and shut his door.

Mark Nelson, an officer from the Granville Police Department, was the officer on scene who secured the perimeter. He was also the one who told the 911 operator to tell Monahan that the police were at his home over a noise complaint, not a shooting.

Cambridge PD Officer Jason Nussbaum told Frost that neither he nor any other officer he heard read Monahan his Miranda Rights that evening.

Jurors also heard from three of Monahan's neighbors, who all described an otherwise peaceful night broken up by two loud pops and a caravan of vehicles rushing down the Monahans’ driveway.