Man accused of murder to be held without bail pending hearingAffidavit: Gilday forced way into home, threatened to kill all occupants
Belfast — A 44-year-old Belfast man accused of shooting and killing a woman and critically wounding her son late Wednesday night, Aug. 28, will be held without bail at the state's request pending the outcome of a Harnish hearing.
Todd Gilday made his initial appearance at Waldo County Superior Court in Belfast Thursday afternoon, Aug. 29, less than 24 hours after police say he fatally shot 55-year-old Lynn Arsenault, who formerly went by Lynn Day. Gilday faces a murder charge in connection with Arsenault's death, and since police announced his arrest at a late morning press conference in Belfast, police have additionally charged Gilday with elevated aggravated assault stemming from the gunshot wound 22-year-old Mathew Day sustained during the incident. Day is Arsenault's son.
Maine Assistant Attorney General Leane Zainea requested Gilday, who was dressed in a jail issued orange uniform during his late Thursday afternoon court appearance, be held without bail until the court schedules a Harnish hearing. Harnish hearings are held in cases such as this to determine whether bail will be set, and if so, what conditions will be in place while a defendant is free on bail.
Justice Murray agreed with the state's position on the matter, and the attorney for the day who represented Gilday Thursday, Christopher MacLean, did not offer any objection.
Justice Murray asked Gilday if he understood the charges against him, and he replied in a clear, audible voice, “Yes your honor.”
The judge also told Gilday he faces a possible life sentence on the murder charge and a mandatory minimum sentence of 25 years. On the elevated aggravated assault charge, Justice Murray said Gilday could face up to 30 years.
The judge informed Gilday he had a right to a court-appointed attorney, but MacLean said Gilday's relatives intended to retain a lawyer on Gilday's behalf.
Justice Murray said the courts would schedule a Harnish hearing within the next five days.
Just before Gilday made his court appearance, police released additional details about the events they believe led up to the shooting.
According to an affidavit from Maine State Police Detective Ryan Brockway, he learned of the shooting at 162 Waldo Avenue at about 5:30 a.m. Thursday. He went to the Belfast Police Department to meet with Maine State Police Detective Darryl Peary, who told Brockway Day was transported by helicopter to Eastern Maine Medical Center with a life threatening gunshot wound, and that his mother, later identified as Arsenault, was dead at the scene. Peary also told Brockway that Day identified the shooter as Gilday.
At about 1:30 a.m. Thursday, according to Brockway, Peary spoke with Day's father and Arsenault's ex-wife, Robert Day, who told police Arsenault resided with their son at the residence on the days she worked at Bank of America.
About 20 minutes later, Brockway stated, Peary spoke with Registered Nurse Michelle Babin, who stated Day was shot in the arm and stomach area with bird shot. At that time, Brockway stated, Peary learned Day's condition had since improved from critical to stable and that he was going into surgery.
Brockway stated that at 3:20 a.m. Peary went to the Belfast Police Department and learned police first received a report of gunshots and screaming in the vicinity of 162 Waldo Avenue at 10:56 p.m. Wednesday night.
When officers arrived, Brockway stated, they found a male subject, who was later identified in the affidavit as John Riley, telling them to hurry. Riley told police he did not have a gun and the shooter had left the home.
Upon entering the back door of the dwelling, Brockway stated officers observed “the door was open and a window was broken with a fist-sized hole in the glass. They observed a male lying across a female on the floor in the kitchen area.”
The male, who police later learned was Day, was wounded, but able to talk with police. Brockway stated the woman, later identified as Arsenault, was deceased with “what appeared to be a gunshot wound to her left shoulder and chest area.”
Brockway stated that when Belfast Sgt. Brian Lunt asked Day who committed the shooting, he implicated Gilday by name. At that time, Brockway stated, Lunt discovered several unfired shotgun shells and bird shot on the floor in the kitchen.
Riley, who was not shot, told police a man came to the door and was met by Day, according to Brockway's affidavit.
“The door opened partially before [Mathew] tried to close it. The glass was blown out of the door and the door was kicked in,” stated the affidavit. “The male subject proceeded to shoot [Mathew's] mother, Lynn [Arsenault], and then stated he was going to “kill everyone in the f***ing house. The male subject then shot [Mathew] and left in an unknown direction.”
Brockway stated Riley also identified the shooter as Gilday.
“He stated he did not know why Gilday shot them,” stated Brockway.
The affidavit stated an autopsy conducted Thursday at the state medical examiner's office showed Arsenault died as a result of “exsanguination [due] to a gunshot wound the the chest with perforation of the left lung.”
Police arrested Gilday at Pen Bay Medical Center in Rockport.
Gilday's vehicle, a 2007 Nissan Altima that police located at the Rockport Hospital, is at the state crime lab in Augusta and Maine State Police Commander of the Major Crimes Unit Christopher Coleman said the vehicle will be processed for evidence once a search warrant is obtained for that purpose.
Earlier in the day Thursday, Coleman said Gilday was familiar with at least one of the people in the house.
“This was not a random act,” said Coleman.
In May of this year, Day was arrested on charges of aggravated assault and domestic violence criminal threatening after police reported he was involved in an argument with a woman and asked her to leave his home. As she tried to leave, according to previously published reports, Day allegedly grabbed the woman by the neck and allegedly choked her until she nearly lost consciousness.
A Waldo County Grand Jury indicted Day on those charges earlier this month.
According to Gilday's professional profile posted at linkedin.com, he has been employed as a tax examiner with Maine Revenue Service since May of this year, and he had also lists himself as the owner of Spinnaker Financial LLC in Belfast.