A man accused of killing his parents and their two friends in Bowdoin, before opening fire on I-295 has withdrawn his insanity plea.

Who Is Eaton Accused of Killing?

Joseph Eaton is charged with murder for the deaths of four people in his hometown of Bowdoin, whose bodies were found on April 18th, 2023. The deceased included his parents, Cynthia and David Eaton, and their two friends, Robert and Patricia Eger. He is also accused of killing their dog, Max. Joseph had been released from the Windham Correctional Facility on April 14th, 2023, after serving a sentence for aggravated assault. His mother met Joseph at the prison and took him to stay with the Egers.

Is He Also Accused of an Interstate Shooting?

After the quadruple murder, Joseph Eaton was spotted on I-295 in Yarmouth, where he opened fire on passing traffic. A father and his two adult children, 51-year-old Sean Halsey, 29-year-old Justin Halsey, and 26-year-old Paige Halsey suffered serious but non-life-threatening injuries. Eaton would later tell police he thought they were members of law enforcement who were following him.

How Has His Plea Changed?

A day before the shootings, Joseph had posted a video on his Facebook page, in which he talked about dealing with trauma, about having been molested, and about people's inability to forgive. That video is no longer available online. He also allegedly told the Portland Press Herald in June that he was not in control of his actions when he killed the four people, claiming that he had suffered a psychotic break after a history of child sexual abuse, drug addiction, and time in prison. Eaton's attorney entered pleas of not guilty and not criminally responsible to each of the 27 charges read at his arraignment in July.

This week, Eaton changed his pleas from 'not criminally responsible' to simply 'not guilty.' WGME-TV reports that, with the change in plea, prosecutors will now not be able to see the forensic report on his mental health evaluations.

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