Accused Bowdoin quadruple homicide suspect, Yarmouth I-95 shooter pleads not guilty

Joseph Eaton
Joseph Eaton(Two Bridges Regional Jail, MGN)
Published: Jul. 28, 2023 at 3:23 PM EDT
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SAGADAHOC COUNTY, Maine (WABI) - A man accused of killing four people, including his parents, before opening fire on Interstate 95 in Yarmouth has pleaded not guilty.

Joseph Eaton faced a judge Friday afternoon for all charges against him in both Sagadahoc and Cumberland County.

In Sagadahoc County, Eaton faced four counts of intentional or knowing murder in the deaths of Robert and Patricia Eger and David and Cynthia Eaton, aggravated cruelty to animals, nine counts of theft of a firearm, possession of a firearm by a prohibited person and theft.

Eaton’s charges out of Cumberland County include aggravated attempted murder, six counts of attempted murder with a firearm, three counts of elevated aggravated assault with a firearm and another count of possession of a firearm by a prohibited person.

Outside the courtroom, Patricia Eger’s brother Peter G. DeRaps shared an emotional testimony and a handwritten note, calling Eaton a “evil, selfish coward.”

The note continues: “We can only hope that justice is served and my heart goes to all those effected by this needless tragedy.”

On April 19, around 9:21 a.m. police were called to the home on Augusta Road in Bowdoin, where they found the bodies of Eaton’s parents and Robert and Patricia Eger.

All four had been shot.

A Sagadahoc County Grand Jury Indictment alleged Eaton stole nine guns from the home where he is accused of all four.

Prosecutors add Eaton stole credit cards, money and property valued between $1,000 to $10,000 from the Egers. The documents, however, do not say what was stolen or why.

After the discovery of the bodies in Bowdoin, reports began to come in of cars being hit by gunfire on I-295 near exits 15 and 17/East Main Street in Yarmouth.

The southbound section of the interstate was quickly shut down in the area as a large police presence descended upon the scene.

Sean Halsey, 51, and his two children, Justin Halsey and Paige Halsey, were all taken to Maine Medical Center for various injuries.

Following the shooting, Gov. Janet Mills made a statement:

“Like people across Maine, I am shocked and deeply saddened – acts of violence like we experienced to shake our state and our communities to the core,” Mills stated.

The governor continues, adding her thoughts are with families, friends and loved ones of those impacted by the tragedy: “I am praying for the quick recovery of those who are hospitalized.”

In a final tweet, Mills adds: “There is still much to learn, but I’m grateful to the quick response of State, county, and local law enforcement to protect Maine people.”