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

(Continued from page 1)

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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

Neighbors there said they knew little about Gilday.

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

"He was in his probationary period as a new hire and he was terminated within that time," said David Heidrich.

Gilday has an online profile on Twitter, but is not a regular poster. Among the businesses he follows on Twitter are weapons companies such as Barrett Rifles, Elite Ammunition, Crimson Trace and Ingalls Gunsmith.

Angela and Joseph Mitchell said they don't know Todd Gilday, but they did know Lynn Arsenault.

Angela Mitchell said she worked with Arsenault at Bank of America, one of Belfast's biggest employers.

Arsenault worked at least part time at Bank of America and stayed with her son sometimes, according to police. The rest of the time, she lived in Garland with her husband.

The Mitchells said Arsenault bought the home next to theirs several years ago. The yellow, two-story raised ranch is slightly run-down.

"It was a party house, a drug house," said Angela Mitchell.

The Mitchells said they called police often to report drug activity or rowdiness.

Belfast police refused to answer questions about any past dealings with the occupants of 162 Waldo Ave. and referred all questions to Maine State Police. Spokesman Stephen McCausland said he had no information about any previous police activity at the house.

Gilday has no criminal history in Maine.

Mathew Day was charged recently with aggravated assault and domestic violence assault, and was supposed to make a court appearance Thursday in Waldo County Superior Court.

He was rushed to Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor for emergency surgery, police said.

The police affidavit said Day suffered a "life-threatening gunshot wound," but McCausland said late Thursday night that Day's condition had "improved steadily throughout the day."

McCausland said that, as far as he knew, Day was still in the Bangor hospital. But Andy Soucier, a spokesman for the hospital, said he could not confirm that Day was there.

Soucier said that could mean several things, including that Day had not authorized the hospital to release his condition.

Day's attorney, Steven Peterson of Rockport, said he didn't find out about the shooting until Thursday morning, when his client failed to show up in court.

Peterson said he knew Day's mother.

"She's the one who retained my services for her son," he said. "She was a real nice lady. This is a terrible tragedy."

Lynn Arsenault had no criminal history. In 2002, she filed a protection-from-abuse order against her husband, Robert Day, according to a Waldo County Superior Court clerk. The couple divorced that year.

Arsenault remarried recently, according to Angela Mitchell. Attempts to reach Arsenault's husband and ex-husband were unsuccessful Thursday night.

Pamela Lufkin, who works at a cafe in the Bank of America call center in Belfast, said she saw Arsenault daily. "She was a strawberry blonde with a heart of gold" and a taste for Starbucks coffee, Lufkin said.

Arsenault was in the second week of a two-week vacation, Lufkin said, and was due to return to work Tuesday.

"The whole top floor of Bank of America was pretty shaken up today," Lufkin said. "You couldn't find a nicer person than Lynn."

The Mitchells, who said they didn't sleep much Wednesday night, said they don't know what happened in the house beyond what they have been told by police. They said they are devastated by Arsenault's death but not surprised by the violence.

"I'm sure this has something to do with drugs," Angela Mitchell said.

-- Staff Writer Edward D. Murphy contributed to this report.

Eric Russell can be contacted at 791-6344 or at:

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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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