Ind. AG’s office responds to Monaghan murder sentence appeal

Gauvin Monaghan
Shawn McGrath
Staff Writer

Prosecutors with the Indiana Attorney General’s Office have filed their response to a New York man’s appeal of his sentence for murdering a Plymouth resident.
Gauvin Monaghan, 20, of Watertown, N.Y., filed an appeal in March, arguing his sentence of more than six decades behind bars for his role in the beating death of Richard P. Costello, 78, in October 2016 was unjust.
Monaghan pleaded guilty in November to a single count of murder and Marshall Superior Court I Judge Robert Bowen sentenced him in December to the maximum term, which is 65 years.
In an agreement with the Marshall County Prosecutor’s Office, charges of conspiracy to commit murder, auto theft, burglary and theft were dismissed as part of the agreement.
When Bowen sentenced Monaghan he noted several mitigating factors which could have lessened Monaghan’s sentence. The judge said Monaghan’s lack of adult criminal record, his apparent remorse and the fact that he pleaded guilty all worked in his favor.
However, Bowen found several aggravating factors. The judge said Monaghan’s juvenile criminal record, his high risk to reoffend, his fleeing Indiana after the murder, his attempt to hide Costello’s body and the severity of the murder all justified the maximum sentence.
In his appeal Monaghan argues that he doesn’t deserve the lengthy prison sentence.
Earlier this month, the attorney general’s office filed its response to Monaghan’s appeal, arguing Monaghan received the sentence he deserved.
“The nature of Monaghan’s offense does not make his sentence inappropriate,” Deputy Attorney General Jesse Drum writes in the response. “He and (Maeson) Coffin brutally murdered Costello, a 79-year-old man, apparently because they were mad that he had asked them for overdue rent. Monaghan admitted that Costello ‘never did anything wrong to (him). All he did was give (Monaghan) a place to sleep when (he) had nowhere to go.’"
Read more about this in Thursday's Pilot News.