Richmond murder suspect's attorney wants to enter plea of guilty but mentally ill

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Posted at 11:44 AM, May 12, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-12 19:25:19-04

MADISON COUNTY, Ky. (LEX 18) — An attorney for Richmond murder suspect Shannon Gilday is wanting to enter a plea of guilty but mentally ill on his behalf.

"He is profoundly mentally ill, said Tom Griffiths, 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.

"Most of the time, what would happen in a situation like this, is it would go on and on and on and it would drag out for years, and I don't think that that serves anybody," said Griffiths. "I don't think that helps the victims. I don't think it helps my client. I don't think it helps the community. There's no point in doing that when the honest answer is he's guilty but mentally ill."

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.

In court Thursday, the prosecution argued against accepting the plea. The judge decided to continue with the arraignment and will not accept any plea until Monday.