Crime - Sacto 911

Davis woman faces murder trial in shooting at her downtown apartment

Hayley Gilligan will stand trial for murder in the October shooting death of her on-again, off-again boyfriend Jamie Kinseth at her Davis apartment, a judge ruled Friday in Yolo Superior Court in Woodland.

She will be arraigned for trial Feb. 15 in Woodland.

Gilligan sat silently, hands resting on her chin, as Yolo Superior Court Judge Paul Richardson delivered the ruling.

“We heard the story that was given by Ms. Gilligan. We also heard the story of what the evidence has shown. …The evidence says something far different than that,” Richardson said.

The opening moments of the Davis woman’s preliminary hearing Thursday featured Gilligan’s nearly 30-minute recitation of the events that she said led her to kill Kinseth, captured on a rookie officer’s body camera.

Kinseth forced his way into her F Street home near downtown Davis, Gilligan told the officers outside the apartment, still wearing her bloodstained bedclothes. They had been in a relationship that had grown toxic. He hadn’t seen her in months, but had hurt her in the past and was verbally abusive, Gilligan told the officers as fire engines and police continued to rush to the scene.

Inside her apartment, she said, their talk, pleasant at first, had become more heated. He tried to block her from going upstairs, she said.

She went upstairs to get her cellphone and the .380-caliber Ruger she’d purchased from a West Sacramento gun shop for self-defense a couple of weeks earlier. She heard him rustling in the kitchen, saw him turn toward her, she said.

Giligan fired once, she told the officers as Kinseth’s body lay inside the doorway.

Minutes earlier, Gilligan told police dispatchers she fired the round in self-defense. But the evidence showed a far different picture, Yolo County prosecutors argued:

A bloodsoaked pillow, a bullet wound from a gun fired a point-blank range, Kinseth’s mail and medicines carrying Gilligan’s F Street address, stuffed in garbage bags and stowed in luggage. A drawer full of Kinseth’s clothes.

Kinseth didn’t break into the apartment, prosecutors argued. He and Gilligan were a couple, they said, and Gilligan was looking for a way out.

“She was going to end the relationship by ending his life,” said Yolo County Assistant Chief Deputy District Attorney Steve Mount in his closing statement Friday

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Darrell Smith covers courts and California news for The Sacramento Bee. He joined The Bee in 2006 and previously worked at newspapers in Palm Springs, Colorado Springs, Colo., and Marysville. A Sacramento Valley native, Smith was born and raised at Beale Air Force Base, near Marysville.