Suspect in Kentucky mansion murder confesses to unsolved crime: court docs

Shannon Gilday, 23.
Shannon Gilday, 23.(Madison Co. Detention Center)
Published: Mar. 11, 2022 at 4:59 PM EST
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KENTON COUNTY, Ky. (WXIX) - The suspect accused of killing a former Assistant Commonwealth Attorney in a violent home invasion in February has now been connected to a 2020 burglary at a government building.

Shannon Gilday, 23, is currently in a Central Kentucky jail facing a murder charge for the death of Jordan Morgan, a former Assistant Commonwealth Attorney, court records show. Gilday allegedly killed Jordan after breaking into the mansion owned by her father, former Kentucky Representative C. Wesley Morgan.

Kenton County Commonwealth’s Attorney Rob Sanders says investigators suspect Gilday wanted access to the family’s doomsday bunker.

FOX19 NOW obtained court records that shed light on a previous crime Gilday has since confessed to, per court records.

On Jan. 26, 2020, Gilday broke into the Kenton County Circuit Court Clerk’s Driver’s License Office, documents claim.

Gilday told detectives he used a cordless driver to get into the government building. No one knew he was in the building until the next day when the staff saw that items were missing, according to Sanders.

“As part of the break-in, the burglar had disabled the locking mechanisms in such fashion that the security system thought the building was still secure,” Sanders said. “It didn’t realize the door had been open.”

The office’s security cameras never caught good images of his face as he moved through the building, the records read. He was identified as the burglary suspect after his family suspected his involvement and contacted investigators, according to documents.

Authorities released a video of the break-in in 2020 when they were trying to identify the suspect.

While he was inside the office, Gilday stole $13,000 worth of equipment and supplies used for driver’s licenses and other materials, the documents claim.

The stolen equipment was found at a dumpsite at a later unspecified date by a Norfolk Southern Railroad employee.

When the items were recovered, documents say they were damaged beyond repair, but one piece of evidence was still there; personal military records for a Shannon Vincent Gilday.

Gilday served in the Army beginning in August 2018 and was never deployed, according to a US Army spokesperson. He held the rank of private when he was dishonorably discharged in October 2019, a source confirms.

According to the court records, Gilday’s family suspected he was involved in the 2020 burglary. They contacted investigators who began to look into the case.

Investigators sent DNA from the stolen equipment at the dumpsite to the FBI lab in Quantico, Virginia.

The DNA results were still pending when Gilday was arrested on Feb. 28 for the murder of Jordan Morgan, according to the documents.

Gilday confessed to the 2020 Kenton County Circuit Court Clerk’s Driver’s License Office burglary while Kentucky State Police interviewed him, records read. He also admitted to dumping the stolen materials at a rural location, according to the documents.

Gilday told them he intended to use the stolen equipment to make fake IDs to obtain Bitcoin, the documents state.

He is now facing burglary and theft by unlawful taking charges in Kenton County, per court records.

Gilday pleaded not guilty to the murder charge when he appeared in court on March 2.

The day after his initial court appearance, the application for a warrant filed by the Taylor Mill Police Department shed light on the possible motive behind the killing at the Kentucky mansion.

>> Victims’ sleep schedules, home’s security layout found in murder suspect’s notes: warrant shows <<

The warrant application claims Gilday researched Kentucky homes that had doomsday bunkers. His research led him to the Morgan’s $6.5 million mansion in Richmond.

The home has a 2,000 square-foot shelter built 26′ underneath it, Garretts Real Estate Group’s website shows. The bunker was built to “withstand a seismic 12 earthquake,” and had two escape tunnels, the website claims.

Gilday continued his research of the home, which was for sale, and even its owners, the warrant reads.

The 23-year-old made notes referencing the sleeping schedules of the Morgan family, according to the document.

“Gilday made other references to the surveillance of the residence such as layout, cameras and access points,” the warrant application reads.

The suspect even wrote in his writings that he tried to get in the bunker previously but was unsuccessful, according to the document.

It is unclear when Gilday will appear in court next. The Madison County judge set his bond at $2 million.

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