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October 31, 2013

John Ewing/Staff Photographer

Suspect Todd Gilday arrives for his appearance Wednesday in Waldo County Superior Court. He is accused of killing Lynn Arsenault and wounding Mathew Day in Belfast.

Man enters insanity plea in shooting of Maine mother, son

By Scott Dolan
sdolan@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

BELFAST — The Belfast man accused of fatally shooting a woman and seriously injuring her son in August pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity Wednesday to a three-count indictment.

Todd Gilday, 44, appeared briefly in Waldo County Superior Court, pleading not guilty to charges of murder, attempted murder and elevated aggravated assault.

After each charge was read by Justice Robert Murray, Gilday’s attorney, Philip Cohen, said, “He is also entering a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity.”

Gilday is accused of killing Lynn Arsenault and seriously injuring Mathew Day on Aug. 28 at Arsenault’s house at 162 Waldo Ave. in Belfast.

Police have released little information about the case since Gilday was arrested a day after the shooting, other than that he and Day, 22, were somehow acquainted. It is unclear whether Gilday knew Arsenault, who was 55.

Gilday has been in custody since police got a tip that he had checked himself into Penobscot Bay Medical Center in Rockport, where they arrested him.

Wednesday’s court appearance was Gilday’s first since he was indicted earlier this month. In addition to entering his plea, he was scheduled for a hearing to determine whether he can continue to be held without bail. Cohen requested that the hearing be delayed until an unspecified date. The judge ordered Gilday held until then.

Murray also ordered a mental evaluation for Gilday, as requested by the prosecutor, Assistant Attorney General Leane Zainea, to determine his competency to stand trial and whether he can be held criminally responsible.

Zainea would not comment on the case against Gilday, other than to say it could be weeks before the mental evaluation is complete.

Cohen also declined to comment on details of the case, saying he had not yet seen the state’s evidence against Gilday other than an affidavit filed by state police Detective Ryan Brockway seeking the initial charges against his client.

Police have said that Gilday went to the single-family home on Waldo Avenue and, after arguing with someone there, shot Arsenault and Day.

Arsenault died at the scene from a gunshot wound to the chest and shoulder, according to an affidavit filed in support of Gilday’s arrest. Day, who lived in the house with his mother, was shot in the arm and stomach.

Neighbors said after the shooting that the house was notorious for parties, and that they often called police to report noise and suspected drug-related activity.

Gilday, who has no criminal history in Maine, does not have strong ties to the state. His most current address is Springbrook Drive, a condominium complex in Belfast less than two miles from the home on Waldo Avenue.

Gilday worked briefly as a tax examiner for Maine Revenue Services, but was terminated from that job, according to a spokesman for the agency.

Arsenault was well known in the community. She was a manager at the Bank of America call center in Belfast and stayed with her son in Belfast often. The rest of the time, she lived in Garland with her husband, Donald Arsenault.

Arsenault’s co-workers at Bank of America held a candlelight vigil in her memory in September at Belfast City Park, drawing a crowd of more than 150 people.

Scott Dolan can be contacted at 791-6304 or at:

sdolan@pressherald.com

Twitter: @scottddolan



John Ewing/Staff Photographer

Assistant Attorney General Leane Zainea requested a mental exam for the defendant to determine his competency to stand trial and whether he can be held criminally responsible.



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