May 23, 2018
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Accused Belfast killer’s bail hearing delayed, memorials for victim set

By Abigail Curtis, BDN Staff

BELFAST, Maine — The man accused of killing a well-loved local woman last week will delay a hearing to learn whether the state will allow bail to be set.

Todd Gilday, 44, of Belfast has been held without bail at Two Bridges Regional Jail in Wiscasset after making his first appearance on Thursday, Aug. 29, to hear the charges of intentional or knowing murder and elevated aggravated assault that have been levied against him. Police say Gilday killed Lynn Arsenault, 55, of Garland and Belfast and injured her son, 22-year-old Mathew Day of Belfast.

Originally, Gilday had been scheduled to appear Friday for a hearing at Waldo County Superior Court to determine whether he could receive bail. But his newly retained defense attorney, Philip Cohen of Waldoboro, requested Wednesday that the hearing be continued to a future date that has not yet been determined, according to a court clerk.

Arsenault died the night of Wednesday, Aug. 28, after she was shot in the chest at her son’s home at 162 Waldo Ave. Her memorial service will be held at 3 p.m. Monday, Sept. 9, at the Erickson Ballroom at Point Lookout Resort and Conference Center in Northport.

Also, community members are organizing a candlelight vigil for her Friday night. At the vigil, people will be given the chance to share their memories of Arsenault, the credit manager and an assistant vice president at Bank of America in Belfast. Her co-workers there remembered her last week as a kind and compassionate person who would do anything to help someone out.

Police have not yet shared a likely motive for the killing, which took place last Wednesday night at the Waldo Avenue home. The morning after the shooting, police arrested Gilday and charged him with murdering Arsenault and with shooting her son.

Mathew Day was taken to Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor to be treated for a shotgun wound to his arm and stomach. He told police who arrived at his home after the shooting that Gilday had shot him and his mother, but that he did not know why.

Stephen McCausland, spokesman for the Maine Department of Public Safety, said Wednesday that he has no updated information about Day’s condition. Hospital officials have said they have no information about Day. Because the case has gone into the court system, any new information will now be made available through hearings or affidavits filed by police, McCausland said. No new information was filed Wednesday.

“He continues to recover from his wound,” McCausland said of Mathew Day, adding that police are aware that Day and Gilday knew each other.

On Wednesday, a professional team of cleaners scrubbed the inside of the Waldo Avenue home and a makeshift memorial crammed with bright flowers and Starbucks coffee cups — her favorite beverage — had sprung up on the front steps.

“You are really missed. Such a good example of friend, mother and colleague. Always trusted you 100 percent to do the right thing. Always took the high road. Godspeed,” read one inscription on a whiteboard propped against the front door.

“These bright colors made me think of your personality and, of course, your ever-changing hair-color,” one friend wrote on a bouquet of orange daisies.

Votive candles had been placed on the walkway and in front of a picture on the door of Arsenault, smiling under a cloud of red hair.

Vigil organizers said Wednesday that lanterns will be lit in her honor at the end of the vigil, and that those who can’t make it are being asked to show their support by placing a candle in a window or on a doorstep.

Efforts to contact Arsenault’s husband, Donald “Rusty” Arsenault, Jr., of Garland, or other family members were unsuccessful.

According to her obituary, Arsenault was creative as an artist, florist and gardener and “would be remembered for always having a cup of Starbucks coffee in her hand and for just plain being fun.”

“She always made people feel better about themselves, never putting anybody down,” the obituary stated.

Arsenault had three sons, including Mathew Day. She grew up in Dexter and attended high school there. She lived in Garland but stayed in Belfast when she was at work, police said.

The candlelight vigil in her memory will be held at 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 6, at Belfast City Park.

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