August 30, 2013

In Belfast, clash, shots, and a life lost

Police say a man killed a woman and wounded her son, 22, in what was 'not a random act.'

By Eric Russell
Staff Writer

BELFAST — Angela and Joseph Mitchell Jr. had gotten used to the parties, the noise and the arguments at the house next door on Waldo Avenue.

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Waldo County sheriff's deputies lead Todd Gilday into Waldo County Superior Court in Belfast on Thursday. Gilday has been charged with murder in the shooting death of Lynn Arsenault in Belfast on Wednesday.

Eric Russell / Staff Writer

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Belfast Police Chief Michael McFadden, left, Maine State Police Sgt. Jason Richards; State Police Lt. Christopher Coleman, speaking; and State Police Lt. Aaron Hayden speak to the press Thursday following the shooting that left one woman dead and her son critically injured. Police have arrested the suspect, Todd Gilday, 44, of Belfast.

John Patriquin / Staff Photographer

Additional Photos Below

Related Documents

PDF: Police affidavit in Belfast shooting

So when they heard two men shouting late Wednesday, it wasn't out of the ordinary.

But this time, the shouting ended with a loud pop, followed by a woman screaming. Followed by another pop.

Joseph Mitchell called 911. Police responded within minutes, guns drawn. The couple kept their four children inside. "I had a pretty good idea what happened," Mitchell said.

When police arrived at 162 Waldo Ave., they found three people inside. Lynn Arsenault, 55, once named Lynn Day, had been shot to death. Her son, Mathew Day, 22, had been shot but was alive. Another man, John Riley, was in the house, unharmed.

The person who shot the two was nowhere to be found, but Riley and Day told police that the man was Todd Gilday of Belfast.

For several hours early Thursday, police searched the Belfast area for Gilday, 44, or his vehicle, a silver Nissan sedan with a vanity license plate that reads "FOREX."

About 7 a.m., police got a tip that Gilday had checked into Penobscot Bay Medical Center in Rockport, south of Belfast, for unknown reasons. He was arrested at the hospital.

Late Thursday afternoon, Gilday made his initial appearance in Waldo County Superior Court on one count of murder and one count of elevated aggravated assault.

He spoke only briefly when asked by Justice Robert Murray if he understood the charges against him. He did not enter a plea.

Gilday will be held in the Two Bridges Regional Jail in Wiscasset pending a bail hearing, which will be held within the next five days unless Gilday or his attorney requests more time.

Police released few details about the circumstances of the shooting, but Maine State Police Lt. Christopher Coleman said Gilday knew at least one of the people in the home. "This was not a random act," he said.

An arrest warrant filed Thursday before Gilday's court appearance shed some light on the shooting but did not address any possible motive.

The court document, written by state police Detective Ryan Brockway, says three local police officers went to the home shortly before 11 p.m. Wednesday. They were met by Riley, who told them to hurry.

Riley told officers that he did not have a gun and that the gunman had fled.

When officers entered the home through a back deck, they saw a man lying across a woman on the floor of the kitchen. The man, identified later as Day, was bleeding from his stomach. The woman, identified as Arsenault, was "obviously deceased with what appeared to be a gunshot wound to her left shoulder and chest area," the affidavit says.

Riley told police that a man had come to the house and been met by Day at the door. The two argued, and Day tried to close the door to keep the man out of the house. But the man pushed through the door, shattering the glass. He shot Arsenault, and then shot Day before leaving.

Riley and Day identified the man as Todd Gilday, but said they didn't know why he came to the house or why he started shooting.

Gilday lives less than two miles from the scene of the shooting, in a large condominium complex called Spring Brook. Late Thursday morning, a Belfast police officer guarded the home and said detectives would likely search it later in the day.

(Continued on page 2)

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Additional Photos

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Accused murderer Todd Gilday was arrested at a Rockport medical facility. Photo provided by Maine State Police.

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The home at 162 Waldo Ave. in Belfast, where Lynn Arsenault, 55, was shot and killed and her son, Matthew Day, 21, was wounded.

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Todd Gilday. Photo provided by Maine State Police

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A Belfast police car sits outside the home of murder suspect Todd Gilday, at 30-A Spring Brook Drive, in Belfast Thursday morning.

John Patriquin / Staff Photographer

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A state police evidence technician enters a state police mobile lab at 162 Waldo Ave. in Belfast on Thursday, Aug. 29, 2013. Belfast resident Todd Gilday had been charged with murdering Lynn Arsenault, 55, and wounding her son, Mathew Day, 21, at their home seen here.

John Patriquin / Staff Photographer


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