Announcer: The following segment is sponsored by Harding Mazzotti.
Interviewer: Kevin Monahan found guilty of murder in the shooting death of Kaylin Gillis after she and a group of friends mistakenly turned onto his driveway in their vehicle. And earlier this week, Monahan’s attorney filed a motion to have the jury consider some lesser charges in this case but that request was denied by a judge. So, we have managing partner, Paul Harding, here from Harding Mazzotti. Hey, thanks for being here with us.
Paul: Yes. Good to be here. Tough case.
Interviewer: Tough case. So, explain exactly what happened here. Why did they, you know, push for this?
Paul: Right. So, when you have someone who is generally indicted at the beginning, they’ll indict you on a charge, and then they call lesser included offenses. We’re gonna get you on something. If it’s not gonna be the top charge, it’s gonna be a lower charge. So, but, all the charges in the indictment were murder. None of them had any of the lesser charges of murder, manslaughter. So, here, late in the game, right before it goes to the jury, they made a motion to say, “Hey, we wanna include criminally negligent homicide, because that’s what we’ve been trying to prove. We’ve been trying to prove trips and guns going off on their own and, you know, just mistakes.” And the judge said, “No.”
Interviewer: Yeah. So is it normal for them to make a request like this, especially so late in the game at the end of a trial?
Paul: It’s pretty rare because you sort of know what’s happening, what defense you’re gonna put up, and then you ask for it early. And then again, equally, the judge could have said yes. You know, wouldn’t have surprised me. In fact, I would’ve thought the judge would’ve said yes. Those were the facts we presented. The jury can believe us or not. But now the jury didn’t have, they had to say we acquit or murder. There wasn’t the criminal negligent homicide option.
Interviewer: Yeah. The judge did allow them to consider some other slightly reduced charges, like different degrees and can this affect, you know, or impact the way that the jury views the whole case?
Paul: Yeah. The jury didn’t have an option to give criminal negligent homicide. Now, me looking at the case, I don’t think that was the avenue they were going. They’re out two hours later they’re back with a verdict. I think that they… But still, yeah, it was all or nothing. And it’s a prosecutorial sort of option. You know, we’re gonna go for murder, and if you don’t see this and you wanna acquit, what defense had hoped that there could be a lesser charge that they might opt for because the sentencing on criminally negligent homicide is one to four years versus the 25 to life that he was found guilty of.
Interviewer: And they did say that they were gonna appeal this. They have the opportunity to do that, of course, right?
Paul: And you’re gonna appeal the fact the judge didn’t let him put that charge in. And so, that’s where, you know, to me, if the judge let them put the charge in, it would be a non-appealable issue. Most cases don’t get overturned on appeal, so this one probably won’t, but they’re gonna appeal.
Interviewer: All right, we’ll continue to watch and see what happens.
Paul: Yes, absolutely.
Interviewer: All right. Thank you for being here with us.
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