Affidavit: Friend's child custody issues, drug use factors in Belfast murder case
Belfast — An affidavit from a Maine State Police released new details in the murder case of 44-year-old Todd Gilday, and showed Gilday was allegedly upset over a friend's child custody issues and had been using drugs in the hours leading up to the shooting death of 55-year-old Lynn Arsenault.
Gilday is charged with intentional or knowing murder, attempted murder with a firearm and elevated aggravated assault with a firearm. The charges stem from an Aug. 28 incident in which Gilday allegedly forced his way into the 162 Waldo Ave. home of Mathew Day, 22, of Belfast. Gilday shot and killed Day's mother, 55-year-old Lynn Arsenault, after shooting and wounding Day.
Witness was 'in fear that he was going to be shot as well'
An affidavit from Maine State Police Detective Dean Jackson dated Oct. 29 detailed interviews he conducted with several people connected to the case, including Jonathan Riley, who was in the Waldo Avenue residence on the night of the shootings.
According to the affidavit, Riley told Jackson he was friends with Day and he was at the home visiting on the night of the incident. Riley stated he also knew Gilday from past contact.
Riley told the detective Day was receiving text messages from Gilday earlier in the day.
"Mathew told [Jonathan] Riley that Todd Gilday was upset because Mathew's girlfriend's mother, Linda Linscott, had been at Mathew's house earlier that day," stated Jackson's affidavit. "According to [Jonathan] Riley, Mathew [Day] told him that Todd [Gilday] was coming to Mathew's house."
Riley told police Arsenault was asleep inside the home at the time of that discussion.
A short time later, Riley told police he and Day heard a car door shut and they went to the back door — the common entryway for the house — and observed Gilday "with a gun that had a sling attached to it." Riley stated to Jackson that he felt they were in danger and he ran to the living room.
"... [A]s he got to the living room he heard a gun shot and then saw glass fly everywhere," stated the affidavit.
Riley stated he got behind the couch, and according to the affidavit, he witnessed Day approach the couch and then saw Gilday shoot Day.
"Riley then heard Mathew's mother, Lynn Arsenault, scream. Riley looked over the top of the couch and observed Todd Gilday shoot Lynn Arsenault," stated the affidavit.
Riley told Jackson he then heard Day pleading with Gilday not to kill them, to which Riley said Gilday responded, "I am going to kill everyone." Riley said Day kept telling Gilday there was no one else in the home.
"Gilday appeared to be searching the house and Riley was in fear that he was going to be shot as well," stated Jackson.
Gilday left the house a short time later, and Riley called 911.
Police: Gilday was upset over friend's child custody issues
Police also interviewed Linda Linscott and her boyfriend Geoffrey Smith. According to court records, Linda Linscott said Day called her earlier in the day and said Gilday was upset because she had visited his home.
Linda Linscott also explained her daughter, Misty Linscott, was dating Day and that Gilday was friends with her daughter. Linda Linscott said Gilday often gave Misty Linscott rides if she needed them. She also said her daughter and Gilday had stolen a camera from her a few days before the police interview, according to Jackson's affidavit. On the camera were images of text messages between Misty Linscott and her ex-boyfriend, and showed where the two were conspiring against Linda Linscott in an effort to cause Linda Linscott to lose custody of Misty Linscott's children.
"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," stated the affidavit. "Todd and Misty deleted the pictures because they felt it would help the state take Misty's kids away from her."
Linda Linscott said she went to Day's home Aug. 28 to retrieve her camera from Day's home, as Misty Linscott had gone to jail earlier in the day to serve a jail sentence.
When police interviewed Misty Linscott, she confirmed she was dating Day and that she and Gilday had been friends for a couple of months, according to the court records. Misty Linscott stated she and Gilday did not have an intimate relationship, but that Gilday gave her rides and she used drugs with him. Misty Linscott also told police Day and Gilday were also friends.
Jackson stated in the affidavit that Misty Linscott described Gilday as "a little strange" because he "would stare at her and make inappropriate comments to her in front of Day." Misty Linscott also told police Gilday commonly acted that way with women.
Misty Linscott told Jackson the day before she went to jail, Gilday had asked Day for drugs but that Day had none. She further stated she did take the camera from her mother so she could print off pictures of her kids and the text messages.
Visitor describes pre-shooting encounter with Gilday
Maine State Police Detective Bryant Jacques interviewed Samantha Ladd, who told him she visited Gilday at his Springbrook Drive home on the night of Aug. 28 after she got out of work at about 10:30 p.m.
Ladd told Jacques, Gilday answered the door in his bathrobe and was crying and seemed depressed. The two made small talk in the entryway, but Ladd stated he did not invite her inside his home.
"During this brief meeting, Todd Gilday told her he was going to 'shoot some people tonight,'" stated the affidavit.
When Ladd asked Gilday who he was going to kill, court records stated Gilday said, "I don't care."
Ladd told the investigator Gilday then asked her to leave and she complied with his request.
Jacques also interviewed Ashley Dodd, according to the affidavit. Dodd told police she and her boyfriend, Kean Ripley, met up with Gilday on the afternoon of Aug. 28 and the three went to a gravel pit in Morrill. While there, Dodd told police Gilday showed them a "big black shotgun with a strap."
Dodd stated to Jacques that after Gilday shot off a few rounds, he stated "that would really blow a hole through somebody."
Dodd also said she saw Gilday using "a lot of drugs that day through a needle."
Maine State Police Detective Josh Birmingham spoke with another friend of Gilday's Jacob Webber, who stated he had never known Gilday to be a heavy drinker or a drug user, and said he did not know Gilday to be an angry person.
But, according to the affidavit, Webber told police Gilday thought Linda Linscott was having an affair with Day while her daughter was in jail.
Shooting victim details alleged attack
Jackson interviewed Day while he was recovering at Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor Sept. 6, at which time court records show Day told police Gilday thought Day was going to get Misty Linscott in trouble for allowing her mother to go to his house.
After receiving the initial text messages from Gilday, Day told Jackson, he called Linda Linscott to find out what the problem was and Linda Linscott said she would call Gilday and "take care of it." Soon after, Jackson stated in the affidavit, Gilday texted Day and asked if the two could meet and discuss the situation and Day agreed.
A short while later, according to the affidavit, Day and Riley heard a car door shut in the driveway and went to the back door to find Gilday approaching the house with a gun. Day stated he tried to close the door and lock it but that Gilday "shot through the door."
"Mathew Day told your affiant that he saw his mother, Lynn Arsenault, come out of the bedroom area. He thought she may have been trying to grab the shotgun barrel and Gilday pointed the shotgun at her and shot her," stated the court record.
Day told Jackson he'd met Gilday through Misty Linscott, and described Gilday as someone who seemed like a nice person but who was "a bit odd at times." Day said Gilday helped he and his girlfriend with their transportation needs, that he and Gilday had different contacts for various drugs and that the two would obtain drugs for one another on occasion.
Day told the detective he sometimes wondered about his intentions toward his girlfriend, but that Gilday acted in a similar way with other women.
Drug use and 'a very bad night'
On the morning of Aug. 29, Jackson stated police located Gilday at PenBay Medical Center in Rockport, according to court records.
At that time, Jackson stated, Gilday told the staff at the facility that he was a drug addict and had "a very bad night." Gilday also claimed to have used "a large amount of opiates" the night before.
According to the affidavit, Gilday did not have much to say to investigators upon his arrest.
"Gilday stated that he did not want to talk to police and that he was not going to help police build a case," stated the affidavit. "Gilday stated that the police would have to build the case on their own."
Police recover shotgun from local pond
The affidavit stated that on Sept. 1, police recovered a loaded Mossberg model 930 12-gauge shotgun from Levenseller Pond off Route 173 in Searsmont at the Lincolnville town line. The gun, stated the affidavit, was loaded with two rounds of number four bird shot, which Jackson stated was consistent with rounds found at the crime scene. In addition, Jackson stated the gun matched the description of the firearm that Dodd, Day and Riley offered investigators.
A trace on the weapon showed Gilday purchased it at a Bangor Walmart in September 2012.
On Oct. 30 Gilday appeared at Waldo County Superior Court and pleaded not guilty to the charges by reason of insanity. In the days prior to his appearance in the Waldo County courthouse, a Knox County Grand Jury indicted Gilday on the charges. Gilday had been scheduled to appear in the Belfast court for a Harnish hearing on the same day he entered his not guilty pleas through his attorney, Philip Cohen of Waldoboro, but Cohen asked that the hearing be continued day-to-day, which was granted. Justice Robert Murray also ordered Gilday to continue to be held without bail at Two Bridges Regional Jail in Wiscasset.
Harnish hearings are used for cases such as this one to determine if bail will be set and if it is, what conditions will be in place while the defendant is free on bail.
As of Thursday, Dec. 5, the court has yet to set a new date for the Harnish hearing.
Gilday faces a possible life-in-prison sentence on the murder charge and a mandatory minimum 25-year sentence. He could be sentenced to up to 30 years on the elevated aggravated assault charge, according to previously published reports.
Court records show Gilday's trial is scheduled for August 2014, and that jury selection for the trial will begin Aug. 11, 2014.