Court records in the Maine shooting have revealed the grisly crime scene discovered by police called to the scene after suspect Joseph Eaton allegedly shot and killed four people, including his parents and two friends.
Eaton has confessed to the murders in Bowdoin, Maine. He was pulled over Tuesday after opening fire while driving on a road 20 miles away in Yarmouth, wounding three people.
The suspect appeared in court in West Bath on Thursday, his first appearance since the murders.
He was only released from prison on Friday and has now been charged with four counts of knowing or intentional manslaughter.
The victims, who died of gunshot wounds, include their parents Cynthia Eaton, 62, and David Eaton, 66, and their friends Robert Eger, 72, and Patricia Eger, 62.
Court records describe the scene police found on Augusta Road Tuesday morning.
Documents indicate that Patti’s sister visited the home around 9 am and found drops of blood near the door, WABI reported.
Inside, he discovered several guns and bullet holes. He left the house and called 911.
Police said Wednesday they found one victim in a barn and three others in the home. Court documents reveal that a dog was also shot at the scene.
Detectives searching the area also discovered a note saying someone had been sexually abused and “nothing was done about it.”
The note also said that someone had been released from pain and that the author of the note wished for “a new life.”
Not much later Tuesday morning, police responded to a roadside shooting where Sean Halsey, 51, and his two children, Justin, 29, and Paige, 25, were shot.
All were transported to the Maine Medical Center.
The father and son sustained injuries that are not considered life-threatening while Ms. Halsey was in critical condition. Halsey said Wednesday afternoon that her daughter’s breathing tube had been removed and she was on her way to recovery.
The car the suspect was driving was rented by his parents at the Portland Jetport when they arrived in the state on April 13 to pick up their son when he was released from prison.
The affidavit states that police found small and large caliber casings on the passenger side of the vehicle.
Eaton was stopped just before 11 a.m. in the woods near exit 15 of I-295 in Yarmouth.
The police affidavit states that there was broken glass at the scene and that there was more blood inside the residence where three of the victims were found.
One of the bodies in the home had been covered with a towel and a witness was initially unable to identify the individual, according to court records.
While police have said that Mr Eaton has confessed to the shootings, they have not disclosed when they were killed. It is also unclear how the suspect got the weapon or weapons used.
Following felony convictions in Maine and Florida, where his parents lived, Mr. Eaton was unable to legally possess firearms.
Police said Ms Eaton picked up her son at the Maine Correctional Center in Windham on Friday, where he had just completed a sentence after being found guilty of assault. The mother reportedly took him to the Egers’ home where they had been staying, according to the Bangor Daily News.
Thursday’s release of the affidavit revealed that Ms. Eger’s sister had told authorities that she texted Ms. Eger around 8:30 a.m. Tuesday to tell them she would be at her home around 9 a.m. that morning, but never heard back.
When she got home, the sister saw two drops of blood on the front steps of the house.
He opened the front door and knocked, but got no answer. She then saw broken glass and blood on the floor, as well as a body covered by the towel on the kitchen floor.
The sister said she couldn’t tell if it was Mr. Eger or David Eaton as they had similar appearances, but taking off his clothes, she guessed it was Mr. Eger.
The note was found on the kitchen island, but it was not addressed to anyone or signed by the author, according to the affidavit.
In a video shared on Facebook Monday, Eaton said he had been sexually abused as a child.
The other two bodies in the house, probably those of Mrs Eaton and Mrs Eger, had also been covered up. The fourth body, purportedly that of Mr. Eaton, was found in a barn on the property.
The court file states that police found several firearms in the house.
When he appeared in court on Thursday, the suspect was wearing orange inmate clothing and a bulletproof vest.
Superior Court Judge Daniel Billings asked the suspect if he understood the charges he was facing, which he said he did. The suspect was not asked to plead guilty as he has not yet been indicted by a grand jury in Sagadahoc County.
The court ordered that Mr. Eaton be held without bail. Maine law states that bail is not available to those facing murder charges, the Bangor Daily News noted.
Judge Billings added that the suspect must undergo a psychiatric evaluation to determine if he can be part of his own defense. Eaton will appear in court again on June 28.
Assistant Attorney General Leanne Robbin and Assistant Attorney General Robert Ellis are prosecuting the case.
Robbin said after Thursday’s hearing that his office would be pressing charges against the suspect in connection with the Yarmouth highway shooting and that local police are still investigating that case.
He added that the Maine State Police are investigating who owned the weapons used in the shootings. He did not comment on how many weapons had been found and how many had been used, the Daily News informed.
“As a public safety measure, we want to know where you got the firearms from,” Robbin said.
Evidence will then be presented to a grand jury to decide on potential indictments.
Brunswick solicitor Andrew Wright has been appointed to defend Mr Eaton. Wright was unable to attend Thursday’s court session; he was temporarily replaced by attorney James Mason, also from Brunswick.
Outside court, Mason said he hoped people would wait to pass judgment on the charges against Eaton and allow the defense to prepare.
If Mr. Eaton is convicted of murder, he could be sentenced to between 25 years and life in prison. Maine law allows judges to hand down life sentences to those convicted of multiple murders.