Joseph Eaton, 34, allegedly admitted to killing three people at a farm in rural Bowdoin and shooting at moving automobiles on Interstate 295 in Yarmouth, according to law enforcement officials. He faces additional charges as a result of the highway shootings.
The remains were found in Bowdoin on April 18, a few days after Eaton’s release from prison.
According to officials, the incident resulted in the deaths of Eaton’s parents, Cynthia Eaton, 62, and David Eaton, 66, as well as their devoted friends, Bowdoin homeowners Robert Eger, 72, and Patti Eger, 62.
Shortly after the dead were discovered, Yarmouth police were contacted regarding shots fired at many vehicles on the crowded roadway more than 20 miles (about 32 kilometers) to the south. According to authorities, a family in one of the cars was hit by gunfire that struck Sean Halsey, 51, Justin Halsey, 29, and Paige Halsey, 25.
The indictment, which was made public on Friday, contains 16 accusations, including nine counts of weapon theft and one count of illegally possessing a handgun. He allegedly stole nine firearms from the Egers, according to the report.
In addition, Eaton is charged in the indictment with aggravated animal cruelty for allegedly killing Max, the Egers’ goldendoodle, “in a manner manifesting a depraved indifference to animal life or suffering.”
A grand jury in Cumberland County charged Eaton last week on 11 crimes related to the highway shootings. A charge against one of them is serious attempted murder.
According to the indictment, Eaton “intent[ed] to cause multiple deaths” when he fired the shots from the highway.
Eaton will show up in court in Bath for a dispositional hearing on June 28. He has being defended by Brunswick attorney Andrew Wright throughout the trial. Wright’s contact couldn’t be reached for comment on Friday.
Eaton has been held since his arrest on April 18 just a short distance from the dramatic scene along the highway, when traffic was backed up while heavily armed police enforcers searched the area. He didn’t pick a side yet, but he later that week appeared in court for the first time.
When Eaton’s mother picked him up from a Maine prison on April 14, his parents were staying with their longtime friends. He had spent about two years there for a sentence revocation following the completion of a sentence in Florida for aggravated assault as part of a lengthy criminal history in Maine, Kansas, and Florida.
Police are still perplexed by Eaton’s motivation for the murders. An unsigned note discovered at the scene, according to a criminal affidavit, included references to “someone being freed of pain and that the writer of the note wanted a new life.”