The boyfriend of Kaylin Gillis, who was fatally shot in April of last year after pulling into the wrong driveway on her way to a party in upstate New York, testified Thursday during the suspect’s criminal trial about the “frantic” scene.
Washington County authorities charged Kevin Monahan, 66, with second-degree murder, reckless endangerment and tampering with evidence in connection with the shooting, which occurred outside his home on a Saturday evening.
“Frantic in the car … people were screaming,” Blake Walsh, Gillis’ 20-year-old boyfriend, said in court on Thursday while describing the moment Gillis, also 20, was shot.
Gillis, her boyfriend and others were driving to a party in two vehicles and on two motorcycles when they turned up the wrong driveway after losing cell service and sunlight.
Monahan’s attorneys have said the 66-year-old was scared when he heard the group of people coming up his driveway late at night toward the rural home he shares with his wife and that the shooting was a “terrible accident” that occurred in part due to a misfired gun.
His attorneys have argued that the gun went off after Monahan stumbled into something in the dark, leading the defective gun to fire.
Jacob Haynes, who was in the back seat of Walsh’s car when Gillis was shot, said the group of friends was “trying to figure out where” they were when they pulled up to the house, which had no lights on.
“We knew we were not at the right house,” Haynes testified Thursday.
As they began to back out of the driveway, the group of friends said they heard a loud noise. One friend said he heard a gun, and another saw a man holding a gun from the house porch through the car’s rear window.
Walsh said he heard two shots and asked if his friends were OK. Hayes and Alexandra Whiting, who was also sitting in the back seat, were OK, but Gillis was slumped over and not responding.
They were only able to call for help when they got cell service back several miles down the road after turning around. Hayes said he held his hand to Gillis’ neck in an attempt to stop the bleeding where she had been shot.
A dispatcher gave them CPR tips through the phone while they waited for authorities to arrive, but medics were unable to revive her by the time they got there.
The defense noted that the group did not see private property signs leading up to Monahan’s property. Some of them had been either drinking or smoking marijuana before they began driving to the party, according to testimony.
Gillis’ shooting death came just days after a similar incident in Kansas City, when an 84-year-old White man fatally shot 16-year-old Ralph Yarl, who was Black, after Yarl arrived at the wrong house to pick up his younger brother. The two cases drew national attention.
Fox News’ Michael Ruiz and The Associated Press contributed to this report.