Police report offers motive behind fatal Belfast shooting

Posted Dec. 09, 2013, at 4:21 p.m.
Todd Gilday
Todd Gilday
Lynn Arsenault
Contributed photo
Lynn Arsenault

BELFAST, Maine — The 44-year-old Belfast man accused of killing a woman with a shotgun blast last August had consumed a large amount of opiates the night of the shooting and was upset over an acquaintance’s child custody case.

One woman also told police that Todd Gilday said he intended to “shoot some people tonight,” according to an affidavit filed by Maine State Police Detective Dean Jackson in Belfast District Court.

Gilday is charged with murder in the late night Aug. 28 shooting death of 55-year-old Lynn Arsenault and the wounding of her son Mathew Day, 22, of Belfast. Gilday pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity during a court hearing in October. He remains held without bail awaiting trial scheduled for August 2014.

Gilday was apprehended by police the morning after the shooting at Pen Bay Medical Center in Rockport, where Gilday had gone shortly before 1 a.m. Aug. 29, asking to be admitted to the psychiatric and addiction recovery unit.

“Gilday told the staff that he was a drug addict and had had a ‘very bad night,’” according to the affidavit. Gilday also claimed to have used a large amount of opiates that night.

Gilday refused to talk with police, saying he was not going to help them build a case against him, the detective reported.

But based on interviews with other people who had contact with Gilday the day of the shooting, police shed some light on a possible motive for the shooting.

Day said he had known Gilday for about three months and had met him through Day’s girlfriend Misty Linscott. Gilday would provide rides to Day and Linscott. Day also told police that he and Gilday would get drugs for each other, according to the affidavit.

“Mathew Day never had any words or hard feelings with Gilday,” according to the affidavit. Day, however, said Gilday was often attentive toward Linscott and he wondered about his intentions toward her. Linscott told police that Gilday was a little strange and would stare at her and make inappropriate comments to her in front of Day.

Day was interviewed by police on Sept. 6 at Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor where he was being treated for a gunshot wound to his right arm, chest and stomach. A bone in his arm had been shattered and there was still birdshot in his liver and chest.

Day said he received a text message from Gilday on the evening of the shooting, indicating that Gilday was upset with Day for allowing his girlfriend’s mother, Linda Linscott, to retrieve a camera earlier that day.

Day said he did not understand what Gilday’s problem was, so he contacted Linda Linscott, who said she would call Gilday. When she did, Gilday told her he believed that there were pictures of text messages on the camera that could help the state take Misty Linscott’s children away from her, according to the affidavit.

In a separate police interview, Jacob Webber, a friend of Gilday’s, indicates that earlier on the day of the shooting Gilday told him he thought Day and Linda Linscott were having an affair behind Misty Linscott’s back.

The affidavit does not state whether either Day or Linda Linscott were aware what Gilday thought of them. But not long after Linda Linscott spoke to Gilday, Gilday texted Day again asking him to meet, and Day agreed.

A short time later, Day and a visitor at Day’s home, Jonathan Riley, heard a car door slam, and upon looking out the window, saw Gilday approaching with a shotgun, according to the affidavit.

Day shut the door and tried to lock it but Gilday shot through the door. Riley went and hid behind a couch in the living room.

Gilday entered the kitchen and shot Day. Day then saw his mother come out of a bedroom where she had been asleep and said she may have tried to grab the shotgun from Gilday when he pointed the weapon at her and fired.

“Gilday then asked who else was in the home and that he was going to kill everyone,” Day told police, according to the affidavit.

Gilday walked around the house but never saw Riley and eventually left without firing anymore shots. Riley then called 911 and tried to administer aid to Arsenault.

Arsenault died of a single shotgun wound to the upper left arm and chest.

The Mossberg 930, 12-gauge shotgun believed used by Gilday was found Sept. 1 in Levenseller Pond in Searsmont near the Lincolnville town line, according to police. Investigators said the weapon had been purchased by Gilday in September 2012 at the Walmart in Bangor.

Jacob Webber, who had been friends with Gilday for about a year, told police he was not aware of Gilday being a drug user or heavy drinker and had not seen any changes in his behavior. On the night of the shooting, which was Gilday’s birthday, he told Webber he was planning to go to the movies and dinner.

The affidavit also includes statements from Samantha Ladd who said she stopped by Gilday’s home at about 10:30 p.m. Aug. 28 and he seemed depressed.

“Todd Gilday told her that he was going to ‘shoot some people tonight,’” according to the affidavit. When Ladd asked Gilday who he was going to shoot, he said he didn’t care who. Gilday then asked her to leave and he was crying when she left.

The call about the shooting at the Day home was made at 10:56 p.m.

SEE COMMENTS →

ADVERTISEMENT | Grow your business
ADVERTISEMENT | Grow your business

Similar Articles

More in Midcoast