Joseph Eaton Murders 4 In Maine

Joseph Eaton
Joseph Eaton

Joseph Eaton is a convicted killer from Maine who would plead guilty to four murders including that of his own parents

According to court documents Joseph Eaton would go to a rural property where he would shoot and kill his parents Cynthia Eaton, 62, and David Eaton, 66; and their friends Robert Eger, 72, and Patti Eger, 62. Joseph Eaton would then open fire at vehicles traveling down Interstate 295 in Yarmouth Maine injuring three people.

Joseph Eaton would be arrested and would ultimately plead guilty to the four murders and would be sentenced to life in prison

Joseph Eaton has never given a reason behind the four murders

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Joseph Eaton Case

A man in Maine who confessed to killing his parents and two of their friends and wounding three people in a highway shooting pleaded guilty to murder and other charges on Monday, and a judge sentenced him to the maximum term of life in prison.

Joseph Eaton has never provided an explanation for his actions and police have not publicly announced any motive. Eaton withdrew an insanity defense late last year. He was subsequently charged with four counts of murder and three counts of aggravated attempted murder. He pleaded guilty to all of the charges on Monday.

Defense lawyer Andrew Wright said Eaton chose to plead guilty to take responsibility, believing it was the “reasonable and moral” thing to do.

Anguished family members described sleepless nights, nightmares and loss of innocence during emotional testimony given before Eaton’s sentencing.

One of them called Eaton “a selfish little boy” who took the lives of the very people who cared most for him.

Eaton looked down at the defense table during much of the testimony, and apologized afterward. “I wake up every day regretting what I did,” he said. Of his life sentence, he added, “I honestly think I deserve more. All I can say is, I’m sorry.”

Law enforcement officials say Eaton, now 35, confessed to the killings on a property in rural Bowdoin, and to wounding three people while shooting at vehicles on Interstate 295 in Yarmouth, which brought traffic to a halt until police eventually captured him. The shootings came days after Eaton was released from a Maine prison for unrelated crimes. He has been in jail since his latest arrest.

Those killed were Eaton’s parents, Cynthia Eaton, 62, and David Eaton, 66; and longtime friends Robert Eger, 72, and Patti Eger, 62, the couple who owned the Bowdoin home where they all were staying. Also killed was the family dog, resulting in an animal cruelty charge.

Authorities say the slayings took place “on or about” April 17, 2023. Their bodies were found the following day, on the same Tuesday that three people were wounded when shots were fired on I-295 in Yarmouth, about 12 miles (20 kilometers) outside of Portland, Maine’s biggest city. Eaton faced separate indictments because the attacks at the Bowdoin home and on the highway happened in different counties.

Maine Public Safety Commissioner Michael Sauschuck called the shootings “an attack on the soul of our state.” But the heavy toll of the crime was surpassed months later when an Army reservist, who also lived in Bowdoin, killed 18 people at two locations in Lewiston, in what would become the state’s deadliest mass shooting.

Police still haven’t announced any motive for Eaton’s crimes.

An unsigned note found at the scene of the killings mentioned “someone being freed of pain and that the writer of the note wanted a new life,” according to a criminal affidavit. Eaton told the Portland Press Herald newspaper in jailhouse interviews that he was not in control of his actions at the time of the shootings and didn’t understand why he did it.

Eaton also has a criminal history in Florida and Kansas. Cynthia Eaton had picked up Joseph Eaton from the Maine prison on April 14, when he was released after serving time for the crimes that were unrelated to the shootings.

Superior Court Justice Daniel Billings said that Eaton was lucky to have family and friends waiting to welcome him back into society after being released from prison, and those were the people he killed. “It leaves me without words,” he said.

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