UPDATED at 2:45 am
The three-day trial of a Seymour man who was accused in an incident on Sept.
The jury found Matthew Gillaspy, 45, guilty of level 4 home break-in charges but not on attempted heavy battery charges, level 3 charges and a burglary, level 4 charge. A sentencing date has not been set.
In Indiana, a level 4 crime can result in a potential prison sentence of two to twelve years.
The verdict of the jury in Jackson Circuit Court came after heated closing arguments.
Attorney General David Thomas said the quantity and quality of evidence presented at the trial was sufficient to make Gillaspy guilty.
Gillaspy attorney Mark Dove responded that the case “smells like reasonable doubt” and that Gillaspy ‘s wife Kelley is “angry” for posting inflammatory posts on Facebook about Gillaspy and his family.
He also said that she was also angry because one of her children had been cut off from much of her family and was allegedly trained by her on what to say about the case.
In his rebuttal, Thomas said Dove made many false statements in his closing arguments.
He said if anyone is angry it is Matthew Gillaspy, who conspired with his child to harm his mother.
Thomas ended his rebuttal by asking the jury to hold Gillaspy accountable and not let him get away with his crimes.
During the testimony on Thursday, Kelley Gillaspy testified about the incident.
She said after Matthew Gillaspy left her home that night she was shocked to learn that a child who had been sleeping with her at the time helped her husband get into the house the night of the incident.
She said her child admitted moving a clothes rack that stood in the way of the back door of the house so that Matthew could enter that night. The child also unlocked the back door.
Another child was in a different room in the house when Matthew was in the house.
When Matt Gillapsy left, Kelley told the child what happened to her husband.
Kelley said she was concerned about calling the police, but the child said to her, “If you don’t call, I’ll call.” Kelley then called the police.
A photo of Kelley’s face was admitted as evidence on August 20, 2019. It shows two scratches on her face – one to the left of her left eye and another under her left eye.
The child, who was in the same bed as Kelley when Matthew entered her house, testified at the beginning of the trial that Matthew had said to the child the night before the incident, “I need you to kill your mother.”
The child remembered the next night when Matthew walked into the house and said they woke up and saw him in the bedroom. They said Matthew ran up to Kelley and put his hand over her mouth.
The child also testified that after the incident, Matthew repeatedly pleaded with the child, “Don’t say anything”.
In cross-examination, the child was asked why they would do nothing if they knew Matthew was going into the house to harm Kelley.
The child also testified that Matthew was away from home for the two weeks the family was there.
Dillon asked how Matthew knew about a clothes rack to tell the child to move. The child said it didn’t know.
Inconsistencies in the child’s testimony were noted by Dillon, including the fact that the child initially told officers the trash bag Matt Gillaspy was using was clear but later said he was white and even said that at one point there was no trash bag gave.
When Kelley mentioned Matthew tried to kill her, Dillon said that it was only then that the child said anything about attempted murder.
In a statement, the child said Matthew hadn’t even been in bed in the home the night he walked in.
Thomas said there were other matches in the child’s testimony, such as Matthew standing in the bedroom doorway charging towards Kelley.
Dove said in court that he did not understand how the jury could or could believe the child because of the discrepancies in their statements.
Also on Tuesday, Lt. CJ Foster summoned to Seymour Police Department as a defense witness.
Dove asked Foster how he was conducting a criminal investigation and Foster said he was not looking for evidence with the intention of convicting and was reviewing all facts surrounding a case.
As for the reasons the child shared inconsistencies in what they said, Foster said the child went through a traumatic situation and their memory may have been clouded from shock.
A box of trash bags in the house that Matthew found hadn’t been fingerprinted by Foster. As to why the box wasn’t dusted for fingerprints, Foster said he didn’t think it was necessary as Matthew’s fingerprints would have been all over the house.
The alleged trash bag covering Kelley’s face was never found by police.
Seymour Assistant Chief Greg O’Brien testified in court on Friday as an investigator into the case.
He said a search warrant was issued on the afternoon of the same day the incident occurred.
A laundry basket containing the black sweatshirt he was wearing when he went to Kelley’s house was found in the house where Matthew was arrested. No evidence was found in his bedroom or truck.
O’Brien also said police never looked for the trash bag Matthew was using, but trash bags were collected at home as samples.
The other child, who was present at the home on the night of the incident, also testified on Thursday. They said they woke up with a scream but fell asleep again because it was quiet in the house when they were awake and they thought it might have been a nightmare.
Jackson County Jail Sgt. Bill Drees appeared in court to review letters he found in jail while Matthew was incarcerated. While the contents of the letter were only presented to the jury, it later turned out to be farewell letters sent to members of his family.
Matthew also attended the booth on Wednesday.
On Friday, before entering Kelley’s house, he said that a full divorce settlement had been reached. One child could see both parents freely, the other could only spend half of their time with them.
He described the divorce as unfriendly and had a problem with how much time he would have with his children as he wanted joint custody and Kelley wanted sole custody.
While there was controversy over how to split real estate and credit card debt, Matthew said he was mostly busy with his time with his children. Because he hadn’t seen his children in two years, Matthew said he had to pay more child support.
On the Friday and Saturday before the incident, Matthew was hanging out with one of his children. He spent time with the same child on Sundays and dropped them off at Kelley’s around 6 p.m.
Before being deposed, he said the child was upset about the divorce and encouraged Matthew to speak to Kelley again.
Matthew finally walked into the house at 2 a.m. that evening and said the reason for the delay was because he was wondering whether to leave.
He also denied telling the child to help kill Kelley. If he had, said Matthew, the child would have told his mother about it right away.
Matthew said he went into the house through the back door, took off his shoes as it was the custom in the houses he lived in, went through the bedroom door, and Kelley woke up. He said when he went to the bed Kelley hugged him.
When the child woke up in bed he said all three were hugging. Matthew denied having a trash bag when entering the house.
Matthew said he parked his vehicle one house down the street because there were other cars parked on the street on the side he was driving.
When he got home after leaving Kelley’s house, Matthew said he had a text message from her saying to check with her when she got home and to call her too.
On the phone call, he wanted Kelley to promise not to tell anyone that she was going into the house without permission.
Before Kelley sent this text message that evening, Matthew had sent a text message saying he missed the time with Kelley and her family and that he missed them. He also sent a kissing face emoji.
At home, Matthew said he had a beer and went to sleep. He was finally awakened by a call from the SPD and met Officer Michael Payne at the door.
When asked why he thinks the police are in the house, Matthew said it was because he entered his ex-wife’s house without permission. He was then arrested and taken to the police station for questioning.
Matthew admitted he lied when questioned when he said a child had not unlocked the back door of the house. The reason for this was that he didn’t want to hurt his relationship with his child.
Regarding the suicide note, Matthew said he was at rock bottom because he was concerned about going to jail for the rest of his life for a crime he did not commit.
Thomas asked Matthew if they would agree he shouldn’t have been at Kelley’s house, but doubted if he had a trash bag. Matthew agreed.
Prosecutors also said there were times when Matthew could have spoken to Kelley, such as when he gave up his child after a visit, but did not take advantage of those opportunities.
When he compared the discrepancies of one of his children in court to the lie how Matthew lied to the police about his child failing to unlock the back door of the house, Thomas wondered why it would be okay for him to lie but not the child .
Matthew said he never claimed that the police did anything wrong and that it was not okay to lie to the police.
He also said the reason for entering the house was to speak to Kelley in person, rather than on the phone or text message.