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Man who killed woman after friends pulled into wrong driveway gets 25 years to life

ALBANY, N.Y. — A judge on Friday sentenced the New York man who shot and killed a woman who mistakenly ended up in his driveway last year to 25 years to life in prison, according to multiple reports.

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Kaylin Gillis, 20, was shot dead on April 15, 2023, after she and her friends accidentally turned into the wrong driveway while looking for a party at another person’s house in upstate New York, WTEN-TV reported. Last month, a jury found 66-year-old Kevin Monahan guilty of second-degree murder, first-degree reckless endangerment and tampering with physical evidence, according to the news station.

In court on Friday, people cheered and cried as Judge Adam Michelini delivered the maximum sentence for the charges, the Times Union reported.

“You murdered Kaylin Gillis,” Michelini said, according to The Associated Press. “You shot at a car full of people and you didn’t care what would happen and you repeatedly lied about it. You deserve to spend the maximum time in prison allowable under the law.”

The judge said his sentence was based on a review of Monahan’s testimony, noting that murderers typically don’t kill again after being released from prison, according to The Post-Star.

“With you, I think you really could do the same thing again,” he said. “You just don’t get it.”

Monahan fired two shots after Gillis and six of her friends in their late teens and early 20s wound up in Monahan’s driveway on the night of April 15, 2023, according to the Times Union. The group had realized its mistake and turned around to leave when the second shot hit Gillis in the neck as she sat in the front passenger seat of an SUV driven by her boyfriend, the AP reported. She was later pronounced dead by authorities.

“Our entire family has been shattered forever, scarred by this tragedy,” Gillis’ father, Andrew, said during Monahan’s sentencing hearing, according to the Times Union.

He added, “Every day we wake up to the harsh reality that that she’s no longer here. … We will never see her beautiful face, hear her laughter or simply be able to hug her,” the AP reported.

Monahan insisted that the shooting was an accident and the shotgun he used was defective, according to the news agency. He testified that he thought his home was “under siege” by intruders on the night of the shooting and that he went outside to fire a warning shot to scare the group off, the Times Union reported.

The shooting garnered national attention, coming amid a string of similar incidents in which people opened fire on others who made seemingly innocent mistakes.

Days before Kaylin Gillis was killed, 16-year-old Ralph Yarl was seriously injured after he rang the wrong doorbell while trying to get his twin siblings from a friend’s house in Missouri. On April 18, 2023, two members of a competitive cheerleading team were shot in Texas after officials said they mistakenly tried to get into the wrong car after practice. In May 2023, authorities charged a Louisiana man accused of shooting a 14-year-old girl in the head as she was playing hide-and-seek on his property.

Monahan plans to appeal his sentence, according to the Post-Star.