A householder has been convicted of murder for shooting a 20-year-old woman as the car she was in took a wrong turn up his driveway in rural New York.
Kaylin Gillis was shot in the neck by Kevin Monahan, 66, on 15 April 2023.
Monahan’s lawyers had argued the fatal shot was fired accidentally by a defective shotgun after he tripped on a nail on his porch and dropped it.
He was found guilty of second-degree murder, reckless endangerment and tampering with physical evidence.
Monahan could face life in prison when he is sentenced on 1 March.
The jury in Washington County, New York, took less than two hours to reach its decision on Tuesday.
Friends and family members of Ms Gillis cried and hugged in court as the verdict was delivered.
Ms Gillis was in one of a group of three vehicles that drove down Monahan’s long, curving driveway on a Saturday night in the small town of Hebron, about 55 miles (88km) north-east of Albany.
The friends were in an area without mobile phone service and trying to find a party at a different address.
They had realised their mistake and were already turning back when Monahan emerged and fired twice from his 20-gauge shotgun.
He testified last week that he felt his life was threatened and that he fired a warning shot from his weapon.
But he said the second shot, which killed Ms Gillis as she rode in the passenger seat of an SUV driven by her boyfriend, was a misfire that came after he dropped the gun on his porch.
“I didn’t mean to shoot the second shot,” Monahan testified according to the Greenwich Time newspaper. “The gun went off.”
During closing arguments on Tuesday, Assistant District Attorney Christian Morris told jurors that Monahan had “acted out of anger”.
“He grabbed his shotgun and intended to make them leave as fast as possible and he didn’t care if they were hurt or killed.”
Local police had previously said that he had “not shown any remorse” for the killing.
The victim’s family said in a previous statement that she had been looking forward to starting college in Florida so she could become a marine biologist.
In a separate case that took place just days after Ms Gillis’ death, a householder in the US state of Missouri was charged with shooting 16-year-old Ralph Yarl, who rang the wrong doorbell while picking up his younger brothers. (BBC)