Maine man who confessed to killing his parents and two others will plead guilty to resolve case, attorney says

WEST BATH, Maine – A man who confessed to killing his parents and two of their friends before firing at motorists on a highway plans to enter pleas Monday that will resolve his criminal case, his attorney said.

Maine man who confessed to killing his parents and two others will plead guilty to resolve case, attorney says

Joseph Eaton withdrew his insanity defense late last year, and his defense attorney told The Associated Press that they anticipate “resolving” the indictments on four counts of murder and other charges during a change of plea hearing.

Prosecutors declined to comment on any plea agreement ahead of the court hearing.

Law enforcement officials say Eaton confessed to the killings at a property in rural Bowdoin and to wounding three more people while firing at vehicles on Interstate 295 in Yarmouth. The shootings came days after Eaton was released from prison on unrelated offenses. Eaton has been jailed again since his April 2023 arrest near the tumultuous scene along the highway, where traffic was halted as heavily armed police searched for the gunman.

Killed were Eaton’s parents, Cynthia Eaton, 62, and David Eaton, 66, along with longtime friends Robert Eger, 72, and Patti Eger, 62, the couple who owned the Bowdoin home where everyone was staying. The family dog ​​also died, for which they were accused of animal cruelty.

Shortly after the bodies were discovered on April 18, 2023, three people were injured when wild gunfire was fired on I-295 in Yarmouth, about 12 miles from Portland, Maine’s largest city. Eaton faced separate charges because the two shootings at the Bowdoin home and on the highway occurred in different counties.

Maine Public Safety Commissioner Michael Sauschuck called the shootings “an attack on the soul of our state.” But the high cost of 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 do not yet know Eaton’s motive for the killings.

An unsigned note found at the scene of the killings mentioned that “someone had been released from pain and that the author of the note wanted a new life,” according to a criminal affidavit. Eaton told the Portland Press Herald in jailhouse interviews that he was not in control of his actions at the time of the shooting and did not understand why he did it.

Eaton, 35, had criminal records in Maine, Kansas and Florida, and had just completed a prison sentence in Maine stemming from an aggravated assault case. Eaton’s parents were staying with his friends in Bowdoin after Cynthia Eaton picked up Joseph Eaton at a Maine prison on April 14.

This article was generated from an automated news agency feed without modifications to the text.

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