Belfast man reaches plea deal for murder charge

BELFAST, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- The Belfast man charged with killing a woman and wounding her son with a shot gun back in August of 2013 has changed his plea. Todd Gilday pleaded guilty to all charges Monday morning just weeks before his trial was set to begin.

Gilday's attorney Philip Cohen said, "Based upon the evaluations and reports he just determined it was better to accept responsibility and plea to the charges."

Back in October Gilday originally pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity.

Gilday told the judge on Monday, however, he was responsible for the death of Lynn Arsenault and the attempted murder of Matthew Day.

Cohen said, "I think it was an unfortunate situation. I don't think our client ever expected to find himself in that situation, but based on other sentences around the state I think it was a fair agreement."

Gilday is charged with fatally shooting Lynn Arsenault with a shot gun after shooting her son Matthew Day back in August of 2013.

According to a court affidavit, Gilday shot Day because he was angry and suspected Day was cheating on his girlfriend. Documents stated Gilday told police he believed Day was having a relationship with his girlfriend's mother.

According to police, Gilday went to Day's home with a shotgun. Arsenault, Day's mother, was staying with her son that evening. Police stated she came out of a bedroom when she heard the gunshots and Gilday turned the gun on her.

This was part of a plea deal offered by the state. Gilday pleaded guilty to one count murder, one count of attempted murder, and one count of elevated aggravated assault. The state recommended a fifty year sentence for the murder charge and fifteen years concurrent for the other two charges.

Assistant Attorney General Leane Zainea said, "The family has told our office that they believe the fifty years is satisfactory to the family."

Gilday will be sentenced in August. He will continue to be held without bail.


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