The man accused of slaying his parents and their friends, then injuring a family in a Yarmouth shooting spree, was indicted Friday by the Sagadahoc grand jury on four counts of murder, nine counts of theft of a firearm and one count each of aggravated cruelty to an animal, being a felon in possession of a firearm, and theft.
Joseph Eaton, 34, allegedly shot and killed his parents, Cynthia R. Eaton, 63, and David Lee Eaton, 66, both of Ocala, Florida, and Kansas and the friends they were staying with, Robert C. Eger Jr., 72, and Patricia Deraps Eger, 62.
The Egers owned the home on Augusta Road in Bowdoin where they and the Eatons were slain on April 17. A dog inside the home also was shot and killed. Their bodies were found the next day by a relative of the Egers.
Information in the indictment clarifies that guns were in the Egers’ home, which police had previously refused to confirm. The indictment does not say which guns were used in the slayings.
Eaton also is accused of stealing nine guns as well as cash and credit cards from the victims.
Eaton, who was released from a Maine prison April 14, is being held without bail due, in part, to his long and violent criminal history. His attorney has asked that he undergo a psychological evaluation to determine if he is competent to assist in his own defense, setting up a possible insanity defense.
He allegedly confessed to shooting his parents and their friends as well as shooting at vehicles on I-295 the day after the slayings.
A Bowdoinham family, Sean Halsey, 51, and his two children, Justin Halsey, 29, and Paige Halsey, 25, were wounded in the shooting spree and taken to Maine Medical Center in Portland. The men suffered injuries not considered life-threatening. Paige Halsey was critically injured, but she is expected to survive.
Eaton was indicted earlier this month by the Cumberland County grand jury and charged with 10 Class A crimes, most of which are punishable by up to 30 years in prison. He was also charged with one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm, a Class C crime, punishable by up to five years in prison.
The Class A crimes are: one count of aggravated attempted murder, six counts of attempted murder with the use of a firearm and three counts of elevated aggravated assault with a firearm.
The punishment for aggravated attempted murder is up to life in prison.
All but three counts of the 10 Class A charges are related to the injuries suffered by the Halsey family. Three individuals who were shot at but had not been named previously are included in three counts of attempted murder.
If convicted of murder, Eaton faces between 25 years and life in prison. Under Maine law, a defendant convicted of multiple homicides may be sentenced to life in prison.