Murder of Craig Sorger
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The murder of Craig Sorger (February 10, 1990 — February 15, 2003) involved a teenager from Ephrata, Washington who was brutally murdered by then-12-year-old friends Evan Drake Savoie and Jake Lee Eakin.
Sorger was mildly autistic and was a developmentally disabled teenager. He had troubles in school, but was very good at developing friendships and keeping them. Sorger was at home one night when Savoie and Eakin asked his mother, Lisa Sorger, if he could hang out with them. As night fell, Sorger's mother became worried because Sorger was afraid of the dark. When she found out that Savoie and Eakin had gone home hours earlier, she knew something was wrong. At around midnight, Sorger's partially clothed body was found in a small wooded area of a public park. First responding officers later described the back of Sorger's head as "smashed like a pumpkin". A bloody tree branch was found nearby, which is most likely what caused the beating. However, the majority of wounds to the back of Sorger's head were caused by a knife.
When police questioned Savoie and Eakin the night Sorger's body was discovered, each told a similar story. Savoie said Sorger fell while climbing a tree. Eakin said he and Savoie were on the same branch in the tree with Sorger when the fall occurred. The autopsy came in and proved differently.
When Sorger's body was found, the autopsy reported that Sorger had been beaten approximately 16 times about the head and neck and stabbed 34 times in the same areas where he had been beaten. He had 8 stab wounds to his torso as well.
The confession and trial
Although they both claimed innocence, they were charged with first-degree murder. After changing his story in 2005, Eakin finally confessed to his role in the killing, pleading guilty to second-degree murder by complicity. Eakin was sentenced to 14 years in prison. He then testified against Savoie, who maintained his innocence. On April 29, 2006, Savoie was convicted of first-degree murder. He was sentenced to 26 years in prison, the maximum sentence that could be imposed. As Eakin and Savoie have since turned 18, they have been transferred to adult prisons to serve the rest of their sentences. In 2011, Savoie's conviction was overturned on appeal based on the trial judge's closure of parts of the trial to the public and his having appointed a lawyer for the victim's family who intervened in the trial.
After prosecutors announced their intention to stage a second trial, Savoie pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in the 2003 slaying. In March 2014, he was sentenced to 20 years in prison.
On June 14, 2016 Jake Lee Eakin escaped the Ahtanum Work Release Center according to Yakima police. He was recaptured on Tuesday, June 14, at 11:20 a.m. in Rapid City, South Dakota. US Marshals had been advised that Eakin may have been traveling east by bus. He will be returned and likely face new charges. Eakin was returned to Washington was incarcerated at Yakima County Jail and had plead guilty to Escape 1. Eakin has recently been released.
- "Jake Lee Eakin recaptured in South Dakota". www.wenatcheeworld.com. Retrieved 2016-06-16.
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