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Judge Admonishes Defendant in Reckless Killing

Judge Michelini said to the defendant, “You just don’t get it. It’s obvious to me that you feel justified. You don’t take any responsibility for the outcome of your actions.”

After those words, Michelini issued a sentence of 25 years to life in prison. The defendant, Kevin Monahan, had been convicted of second-degree murder for his involvement in the killing of 20-year-old Kaylin Gillis. Gillis was a passenger in a car that accidentally turned into Monahan’s driveway while attempting to find a friend’s house nearby. In response Monahan shot at the car, fatally injuring Gillis.

Monahan had taken the stand in his own defense, attempting to testify that what happened was an accident. But the judge was unconvinced, not only by the substance of Monahan’s words, but his demeanor during his testimony. The judge said to Monahan:

The first thing you do on the witness stand is you made a joke to the jury about them finally being able to see your face. You senselessly took the life of Kaylin Gillis and you have the gall to sit here and talk about how you plan to finish up the work on your house and race motocross in the future. You don’t deserve that. What would make you think that you deserve those things?

After Monahan’s conviction, the defense asked for leniency in sentencing. But Michelini wasn’t having it:

Any remorse you have isn’t for the harm you’ve caused. The only regret you have is that you’re finally facing the consequences for your actions. You murdered Kaylin Gillis. 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 our law, and I don’t make this decision because it’s easy. I make it because it’s what’s deserved. I make it because it’s what’s just.

At the time of the killing, Gillis’ family made a statement, praising her as a “kind, beautiful soul and a ray of light to anyone who was lucky enough to know her.”

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