Gauvin Monaghan was sentenced today to the maximum allowable sentence of 65 years imprisonment for the October 2016 murder of Paul Costello. Monaghan plead guilty to the charge of murder on November 6, 2017. Judge Robert O. Bowen of Marshall Superior Court No. 1 set today for sentencing and heard Monaghan read a letter to the victim’s family asking for forgiveness. On cross examination, Prosecuting Attorney Nelson Chipman asked essentially one question, “Why?”
Chipman was seeking some explanation by Monaghan of why he beat an elderly man to death. “Was it money you were looking for?” “Were you angry with Paul?” “Had Paul done anything to you and you were seeking revenge?”
Monaghan could only answer that he did not know why.
No other live testimony was provided by either side. Instead, the State of Indiana relied upon the Victim Impact letters provided by family members and from some of Paul’s friends. The State also submitted numerous photographs depicting the viciousness of the crime and the extent of the victim’s injuries. In addition, the Judge relied upon the lengthy Pre-Sentence Investigation and Written Report completed by the Probation Department.
Before announcing sentence, Bowen detailed his reasoning. He spoke of the mitigating factors in the case, such as Monaghan’s youth of being only 18 years of age at the time of the offense. Being so young made it impossible for Monaghan to have created an extensive adult criminal history before committing this offense, and then being caught. Bowen noted though Monaghan had a juvenile delinquency history.
Bowen also acknowledged Monaghan’s remorse in his letter to the victim’s family and his taking responsibility by pleading guilty and avoiding the necessity of a trial.
Weighed against the mitigating factors though, Bowen noted that the Pre-Sentence Report indicated a high likelihood that Monaghan would re-offend. In addition, Monaghan had 12 incidences of disruptive behavior while in jail and awaiting resolution of the case. But most disturbing to the Judge was the viciousness of the crime, the extent of injuries inflicted upon the victim, and the fact he had been chained and his body dragged and hidden. Accordingly, Bowen sentenced Monaghan to 65 years of imprisonment with no part of the sentence suspended. As required, Bowen informed Monaghan that with good time credit at 25%, Monaghan will have to serve 48.75 years of incarceration before even being considered for release.
Monaghan was represented throughout the proceedings by local attorney Marc Morrison. In court today representing the state was Marshall County Prosecutor Nelson Chipman and Chief Deputy Prosecutor Tami Napier. Chipman and Napier were scheduled to try the case together.
Friends and family members of the victim filled the spectator section of the courtroom and intensely watched the proceedings.
Maeson Coffin, Monaghan’s co-defendant, is scheduled for trial as a first setting on January 30, 2018.
In a media interview after the hearing, Chipman noted the totality of the circumstances of the offense and the background of the defendant and said, “Gauvin Monaghan was a serial killer who fortunately got caught after his first murder.”
Provided by Marshall County Prosecutor Nelson Chipman