Man accused of killing ex-lawmaker’s daughters pleads not guilty

Posted at 7:13 AM, May 17, 2022 and last updated 3:52 PM, December 12, 2022

By Jordan Mickle

MADISON COUNTY, Ky. (WLEX) — A judge entered a not guilty plea on Richmond murder suspect Shannon Gilday’s behalf during a continued arraignment Monday morning.

An attorney for Gilday wanted to enter a plea of guilty but mentally ill on his behalf, but the prosecution argued against accepting the plea.

Shannon Gilday appears in court Monday, May 16, 2022 in Madison County, Kentucky. (WLEX)

“He is profoundly mentally ill,” said Tom Griffiths days before the hearing, Gilday’s attorney. “Everything that happened in this case is all bound up and caused by his mental illness. He’s not denying what happened. He wants to accept responsibility.”

Gilday is accused of murdering 32-year-old Jordan Morgan while she was asleep during a violent home invasion. He’s charged with capital murder, three counts of attempted murder, first-degree assault, first-degree burglary, and first-degree criminal mischief.

He is also accused of shooting her father, former state representative C. Wesley Morgan. Morgan apparently exchanged gunfire with Gilday and may have wounded him. Gilday was later arrested nearly a week later after deputies found him walking along the exit 87 overpass on I-75, less than two miles from the family’s home.

According to a search warrant, Gilday had written notes about finding the bunker inside the Morgan family’s home. In the warrant, a friend of Gilday’s found notes that referenced the Morgan family’s home as well as their sleep schedules. The search warrant says he wrote down details about the $6.5 million home, including where cameras and potential access points could be. He also previously attempted to gain access to the bunker before the shooting.

Gilday is also facing additional charges of assault and strangulation of a corrections officer following an alleged attack inside the jail facility.

A pre-trial conference is set for 9 a.m. July 22.

This story was originally published May 16 by WLEX in Lexington, an E.W. Scripps Company.