September 4, 2013

Police: Belfast suspect knew male victim

Authorities provide no further details about the shooting that left Lynn Arsenault dead and her son wounded.

By Scott Dolan sdolan@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

BELFAST – Almost a week after a fatal shooting in Belfast, police have yet to give a motive or many details on what happened in the house at 162 Waldo Ave.

click image to enlarge

A memorial to Lynn Arsenault, 55, of 162 Waldo Avenue in Belfast is laid at her doorstep by friends and family. This portrait of her was among the items in the memorial on Tuesday, Sept. 3, 2013. Police have charged Todd Gilday, 44, with her murder. Arsenault's son Mathew day was also shot and injured in the incident at the Waldo Avenue house that Arsenault owned.

Gordon Chibroski / Staff Photographer

click image to enlarge

Rollies Bar and Grill near the waterfront in Belfast was a place shooting victim Mathew Day, 22, frequented. His mother Lynn Arsenault, 55, died in the incident, and it remains the talk of the town.

Gordon Chibroski / Staff Photographer

Police have said Todd Gilday, 44, fatally shot Lynn Arsenault, 55, and seriously wounded her son, Mathew Day, 22, in their home on Wednesday night.

Stephen McCausland, spokesman for the Maine Department of Public Safety, said Tuesday that Gilday and Day were acquainted with each other, but he declined to give further details about the case, saying all information would come through the court or court filings.

But in Belfast – in the brick stores along Main Street and in waterfront restaurants – the shooting remains the talk of the town. A photo of Arsenault and a makeshift memorial of candles and flowers sat at the doorstep of her home on Tuesday.

Several people downtown said they were acquainted with Day – who would stop in at local stores or meet friends at Rollie's Bar and Grill – and that he was quiet. They said they had not heard many details of the shooting and were curious about what had happened.

Andrew Palmer, a cook at Three Tides restaurant, said he has been friends with Day for about a year and a half, and sent him a text message of support as soon as he heard about the shooting.

"This was a big deal. Everyone was talking about it. As soon as it happened, the next morning, people were calling me up," Palmer said at the restaurant Tuesday afternoon. "What I heard is that this Todd guy had a big crush on (Day's girlfriend). He was always calling up, asking if he could hang out."

Palmer said he had never met Gilday before the shooting.

"He was a really generous, nice guy," Palmer said of Day. "He wouldn't hurt a fly. Of all the people, he didn't deserve this."

Gilday has another court appearance scheduled Friday afternoon, when there will be a hearing to determine whether he can continue to be held without bail. He has been in custody since his initial appearance in Waldo County Superior Court on Thursday.

Police have said that Gilday went to the single-family home at 162 Waldo Ave. late Wednesday 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 was shot in the arm and stomach. He was treated at Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor for life-threatening injuries. His condition was upgraded to serious but stable by late Thursday. The hospital could not say Tuesday whether Day was still there.

The home, about a mile from downtown Belfast, was owned by Arsenault, and Day was also living there, police said.

Two neighbors, Angela and Joseph Mitchell Jr., said last week that the house was notorious for parties and they often called police to report noise and drug-related activity. Other neighbors on Tuesday said they did not know Day or his mother.

Gilday faces one count of murder and one count of elevated aggravated assault. He has entered no plea. The court has no record of whether he has retained an attorney.

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. He has lived in Maine for the last three years.

No one answered the door at Gilday's condominium on Tuesday or at any of the neighboring units.

Gilday worked briefly as a tax examiner for Maine Revenue Services, but recently 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 for part of the week and stayed with her son in Belfast often. The rest of the time, she lived in Garland with her husband, Donald Arsenault. Attempts to reach him have not been successful.

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

sdolan@pressherald.com 

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