Man Pleads Not Guilty to Murder of Wife

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Police say Scott Gellatly killed his estranged wife in Oxford after she filed an order of protection. Now critics are calling for action to prevent more crimes like this. (Published Wednesday, May 7, 2014)

    A Connecticut man accused of killing his estranged wife the day before they were due in court for a hearing on a restraining order pleaded not guilty on Tuesday.

    Scott Gellatly, 46, is accused of killing Lori Gellatly, 32, and shooting his mother-in-law, Merry Jackson, 64. He is being held on $2 million bond and has been ordered to stay away from his young twin children.

    Gellatly has been charged with murder, attempted murder, larceny of a motor vehicle, first-degree assault on an elderly person, two counts of reckless endangerment and two counts of risk of injury to a minor.

    State police said they received phone calls reporting a break-in on Sioux Drive in Oxford around 5:45 a.m. on May 7, as well as one from a woman reporting that her estranged husband was trying to break into her house.

    Soon after the call was made, it was disconnected. Then, police received a 911 call from a neighbor who reported hearing gunshots and seeing Scott Gellatly running from the house and driving away, according to the police investigation report. 

    When officers arrived at the house, they found two women had been shot. One victim was Gellatly's estranged wife, Lori Gellatly, and the other was her mother, Merry Jackson. Both had been shot several times and were transported to the hospital, where Lori Gellatly was pronounced dead at 6:55 a.m.

    Scott Gellatly was found late that morning in Winsted following a statewide manhunt. Police said he was inside a car at a former KFC at the end of Route 8, about 45 minutes from the scene of the shooting.

    He was alone in the vehicle and had run a green garden hose from the tailpipe into the vehicle in an apparent suicide attempt, according to police.

    Emergency responders revived Scott Gellatly and took him to Charlotte Hungerford Hospital in Torrington, where he is in stable condition and under state police guard, authorities said.

    When police interviewed Gellatly, he told police he had no knowledge of any weapons and could not remember if he was at his wife's home earlier in the morning. He also said that he woke up on Wednesday morning and wanted to commit suicide.

    Lori and Scott Gellatly were scheduled to be in court on Thursday for a hearing on an application for a restraining order Lori Gellatly had filed against him.

    Scott Gellatly's mother-in-law and former wife had also applied for restraining orders, according to court records. One said he was not taking his medication and sent the women and his children away because he thought he could get out of control and was doing this for their safety.

    In her application for protection, Lori Gellatly said that she felt threatened during an incident on April 1 and feared for herself and her twin toddlers.

    "Scott yelled in my face on 4/1/14 and got very angry. I felt threatened and told him I didn't feel safe and was going to leave with the twins," she wrote. 

    The application states that Lori Gellatly obtained a temporary restraining order on April 3 but could not serve it in time for it to be permanent. A hearing was scheduled for 9:30 a.m. on Thursday in Milford.

    One of the conditions of the restraining order was that Scott Gellatly was not supposed to possess firearms, ammunition or any electronic defense weapons.

    It appears that Lori Gellatly was a state employee. On her application for a restraining order, she listed her place of employment as 79 Elm Street in Hartford, which is the headquarters for the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. 

    State police have identified the other shooting victim as Scott Gellatly's mother-in-law, Mary Jackson. She's in serious but stable condition at St. Mary's Hospital, according to state police.

    Twin toddlers who were in the home at the time of the shooting were not harmed and are with family members, according to state police. The judge issue an order for Scott Gellatly to not contact his toddlers.

    The state Department of Children and Families was also notified.

    Hours before police arrested Scott Gellatly, they issued a Silver Alert for Lori Gellatly, saying they believed her estranged husband had abducted her and taken her hostage.

    A police report shedded some light on why the alert was issued.

    When police asked Jackson who shot them, she said "Scott," then added that he had taken someone and was going to kill her. 

    Later that morning, police canceled the Silver Alert and said Lori Gellatly was one of the women stabbed in the home.

    Police also arrested Scott Gellatly on a previous warrant for third-degree assault and disorderly conduct. The charges are connected to a case the Oxford resident state trooper investigated, Vance said.

    As Gellatly left the courtroom after his last court appearance, a family member or friend yelled, "We love you, Scott."

    On Tuesday, he waived a probable cause hearing and opted for a trial by jury.

    He is due back in court in July.

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