December 11, 2013

Belfast man doesn’t know why he and his mother were shot

A police affidavit states that Todd Gilday claimed to have taken a large amount of drugs before he allegedly shot Mathew Day and killed Day’s mother.

By Scott Dolan sdolan@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

As Mathew Day lay bleeding, wounded by a shotgun blast during an invasion of his home in Belfast that left his mother dead, he told police he didn’t know why Todd Gilday had shot them.

click image to enlarge

In this Oct. 30 file photo, Todd Gilday is brought into the courtroom. A police affidavit states that Todd Gilday claimed to have taken a large amount of drugs before he allegedly shot Mathew Day and killed Day’s mother, Lynn Arsenault.

John Ewing/Staff Photographer

Lynn Arsenault was killed and her son was shot in the August attack at Lynn's home.

Staff File Photo

Day, 22, lay on the kitchen floor across the body of his mother, Lynn Arsenault, with birdshot injuries to his arm and stomach when the first police officers arrived, around 11 p.m. on Aug. 28. When asked who had shot him, Day answered, “Todd Gilday.”

Half an hour before the shooting, Gilday had been at his home at 30A Springbrook Drive in Belfast, dressed in a bathrobe and crying at one point when an acquaintance, Samantha Ladd, stopped to visit him.

Gilday told her he was going to “shoot some people tonight,” but answered only “I don’t care” when Ladd asked who he was going to shoot, according to an account she gave to police.

Those details and others from the hours leading up to the shooting were publicly revealed for the first time in an affidavit filed by state police Detective Dean Jackson in support of the charges against Gilday, who turned 44 on the day of the shootings.

In October in Waldo County Superior Court, Gilday pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity to charges of murder, attempted murder and elevated aggravated assault.

Gilday has been in custody since the day after the shootings, when police arrested him at Penobscot Bay Medical Center in Rockport. He had been admitted to the center’s unit for psychiatric and addiction patients on Aug. 29 after telling the staff that he was a drug addict who “had taken a large amount of opiates the night before,” Jackson said in the affidavit.

Any possible motive for the shooting appears to hinge on Gilday’s relationship with Day’s girlfriend, Misty Linscott, and her mother, Linda Linscott. Gilday drove Misty Linscott to report for a jail term earlier in the day before the shooting.

Misty Linscott told Jackson that Gilday was just a friend who would give her rides, that they had done drugs together but that they were not in an intimate relationship, Jackson said in his affidavit.

“She described Gilday as being a little strange. He would stare at her and make inappropriate comments to her in front of Day,” Jackson wrote.

Misty Linscott has declined requests for interviews.

Linda Linscott told police that Misty had lost custody of her children to her, and that Gilday had become involved, helping Misty to steal a camera from her with pictures that could be used to influence custody arguments, the affidavit says.

“According to Linda Linscott, Todd Gilday was upset because he seemed to think that she was trying to help the state take Misty’s kids away from her,” Jackson wrote.

The affidavit also provides detailed accounts from Day’s friend Jonathan Riley, who was in the house when the shots were fired, and from a police interview with Day as he recovered at Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor.

Day told police that he considered Gilday a nice guy, “a bit odd,” and that he and Gilday would get drugs for one another and Gilday would give him rides.

Gilday texted Day before the shooting, asking to talk to him about Misty and Linda Linscott’s custody debate. Day agreed, but saw when Gilday arrived that he was approaching the door with a shotgun.

“Mathew closed the door and tried to lock it, but Gilday shot through the door,” Jackson said in the affidavit.

Riley told police that he hid behind the couch in the living room but saw Gilday shoot Day, then Day’s mother as she got up from sleeping in her bedroom.

“Riley heard Mathew Day pleading with Todd Gilday not to kill them. Todd Gilday responded, ‘I’m going to kill everyone,’ ” Jackson wrote.

Gilday left the house and drove away, apparently without seeing Riley or firing another shot. Police found the shotgun on Sept. 1 in Levenseller Pond at the Searsmont-Lincolnville town line and traced it to when Gilday bought it at Walmart in Bangor in 2012, according to the affidavit.

Gilday is tentatively scheduled to stand trial on Aug. 20.

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

sdolan@pressherald.com

Twitter: @scottddolan

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