Maine man sentenced to life for killing 4, including parents, and shooting at cars on highway

Tyler Mitchell By Tyler Mitchell Jul3,2024

BATH, Maine (TCN) — A 35-year-old man changed his plea this week and admitted to fatally shooting his parents and their close friends at home, and injuring several others while firing at cars on the freeway.

WMTW-TV reports Joseph Eaton pleaded guilty Monday, July 1, to four counts of intentional murder, aggravated cruelty to animals, theft, and theft of a firearm for killing his parents, Cynthia Eaton and David Eaton, and their friends Bob Eger and Patti Eger in Sagadahoc County. Joseph Eaton also shot and killed his parents’ dog. He entered the same plea for aggravated attempted murder and aggravated assault out of Cumberland County in connection with the shooting spree on I-295.

As a result of the plea, a judge sentenced Eaton to multiple terms of life in prison.

On April 18, 2023, at 9:21 a.m., the Sagadahoc County Sheriff’s Department received a call about a deceased male at a home on Augusta Road in Bowdoin. A deputy arrived at the scene and found three victims inside and one outside. Their bodies had reportedly been covered up by blankets. The deputy requested assistance from Maine State Police, who arrived at 10:50 a.m. and took over the investigation.

Patricia Eger’s sister found the victims and noticed there were “several firearms laying out inside the home” and “bullet holes everywhere.”

According to the affidavit, the Egers lived above the Eatons. David Eaton and Cynthia Eaton were reportedly going to stay with the Egers while they waited for Joseph Eaton to return home from prison. WMTW reports he was incarcerated for assault in 2021 but has past criminal convictions in Florida and Kansas.

A Maine State Police detective went in the house and reportedly discovered a note on the kitchen counter that “stated someone had been molested and that there was nothing done about it.” The paper also noted “someone being freed of pain and that the writer of the note wanted a new life.”

The note was not written to anyone or signed.

At 10:28 a.m., about an hour after deputies arrived at the home, the Augusta Regional Communications Center received a call from a woman who said she was driving on I-295 and a man was shooting at her car. The dispatch center learned Justin Halsey, Paige Halsey, and Sean Halsey had been struck and were transported to Maine Medical Center.

Twenty minutes later, the Augusta Regional Communications Center got another call from a man who said he saw a “suspicious male” at an exit standing in the road waving his hands in the air. He appeared to be covered in blood.

Maine State Police arrived immediately and arrested Joseph Eaton.

WGME-TV reports one of Patricia Eger and Robert Eger’s relatives said at Eaton’s sentencing, “He killed the only four people in the world who actually loved and cared for him. God will throw his rage at him.”

One of the women who survived being shot at on the highway spoke at the sentencing hearing and said, “I now suffer from PTSD, anxiety, and depression. I can no longer be around guns, fireworks, or any loud noises. I am not the happy person I used to be.”

Eaton reportedly apologized for his actions, adding, “A life sentence is what I deserve, and honestly, I think I deserve worse.”

Tyler Mitchell

By Tyler Mitchell

Tyler is a renowned journalist with years of experience covering a wide range of topics including politics, entertainment, and technology. His insightful analysis and compelling storytelling have made him a trusted source for breaking news and expert commentary.

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