DERBY, Conn. (WTNH) — An Oxford man accused of killing his wife and shooting her mother is on a suicide watch and will undergo a psychiatric evaluation.
Scott Gellatly appeared before a judge in Derby Superior Court Thursday afternoon and was arraigned on murder and other criminal charges for the death of Lori Gellatly and the serious injuries inflicted on Merry Jackson, who remains hospitalized in critical condition at St. Mary’s Hospital in Waterbury.
The 46-year-old father winced and shook his head as his court-appointed attorney talked about his dead wife and her mother’s serious condition. The judge ordered Gellatly’s bond kept at $2 million.
Lori Gellatly’s family was in court, but had no comment. A friend of the suspect was also in court, and said Gellatly was good father.
Gellatly is 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. His next court appearance is scheduled for Milford Superior Court on May 13. At that time, the court will also hear a previous case involving an alleged assault on Lori Gellatly from April.
Police have yet to indicate a motive. On April 24, Lori Gellatly filed for a restraining order, saying she was afraid for the safety of herself and her children.
“Scott yelled in my face on 4/1/14 and got very angry,” Lori Gellatly wrote in the April 24 court papers. “I felt threatened and told him I didn’t feel safe and was going to leave with the twins … He then told me I wasn’t going anywhere and grabbed my right thumb and twisted my wrist … He acts out very violently and I am afraid for my kids and myself.”
Scott Gellatly accused his wife of cheating on him in a message posted on his Facebook page in early April.
The Gellatly family released a statement after the shooting, saying, in part, “Our hearts and prayers go out to Lori, the children and her family …”
The drama began around 5:30 a.m. Wednesday, when police say Scott Gellatly forced his way into his estranged wife’s home and shot her and her mother, Merry Jackson. The couple’s twin toddlers were also home but were not hurt.
After a search lasting several hours police found Gellatly apparently trying to kill himself in the parking lot of an old KFC restaurant in Winsted.
“There was a hose from the tailpipe, going to the interior of the car,” state police spokesman Lt. J. Paul Vance said. “The officer and the trooper made entrance into the car, were able to revive the suspect in the car.”
Domestic violence advocates say Lori Gellatly’s death proves why there need to be stronger laws to protect women. The Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence says temporary restraining orders, like the one Lori had against Scott, don’t require guns be taken away, only if there is a permanent restraining order.
The group says the time right after a victim applies for a restraining order is the most dangerous. They want guns removed from a violent partner immediately.
So far this year six cases of domestic violence have turned deadly in Connecticut. If you are in an abusive situation and need help there’s a 24-hour hotline that may help. Call 888.774.2900.