Jake Eakin and Evan Savoie were both twelve years old when they would murder an autistic teenager. According to court documents Jake and Evan would beat and repeatedly stab Craig Sorger. During trial the information came out that the murder was premeditated from how they would get the victim out of his home, where the murder would take place and the story they would tell police.
Both of the teen killers would be convicted of murder. Eakin would plead guilty and would be sentenced to fourteen years in prison. Savoie went to trial and received a twenty six year prison sentence that would be later be reduced to twenty years. Jake has been released from prison
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Evan D. Savoie is going back to prison.
The 23-year-old man pleaded guilty to murder in the second degree in Grant County Superior Court Monday morning.
Savoie was facing a second trial for murder in the first degree for killing 13-year-old Craig Sorger in 2003.
The Washington State Court of Appeals, Division III, overturned Savoie’s first conviction in October 2011, ruling a closed hearing violated Savoie’s rights.
Savoie faces between 12 years and three months and 21 years and two months in prison when he is sentenced.
Chief Deputy Prosecutor Ed Owens told visiting Douglas County Superior Court Judge John Hotchkiss prosecutors plan to ask for 20 years and four months in prison when Savoie is sentenced, according to court records. The victim’s family doesn’t agree with the resolution, but the Washington Association of Prosecuting Attorney’s and Ephrata’s police chief agreed with it.
Savoie was initially sentenced to 26 years in prison after a jury found him guilty of murder in the first degree.
Defense Attorney Michael Felice plans to ask the judge for a lesser sentence, and Savoie will be examined by an expert prior to his sentencing. Felice stated, in a declaration asking for the expert, he plans to present evidence about mitigating circumstances including Savoie’s age maturity, sophistication and developmental condition at the time of the crime.
Savoie and Jake Eakin were 12 years old when they beat and stabbed Sorger to death, according to court records. Savoie dropped a rock on the victim’s head and pressured Eakin to take part.
The day of the murder, Savoie and Eakin were dropped off at Oasis Park in Ephrata. They went to Sorger’s house and invited him to play, according to court records.
Sorger’s mother became concerned when the boy didn’t return. His body was found in Oasis Park.
Eakin pleaded guilty to murder in the second degree in April 2005 and was sentenced to 14 years in prison.
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Convicted child-murderer Jake Eakin is now a full-time anti-abortion protester.
Eakin and Evan Savoie were both found guilty in the death of Craig Sorger.
It was a brutal case that shocked the small town of Ephrata and made history at the state level because, at the time, the murderers were just children
Now, 15 years later, Eakin says he is now working to save lives because of his violent past.
Craig Sorger’s 2003 murder
It was February 2003 when 13-year-old Sorger was viciously beaten and stabbed to death in a wooded area near his house in Ephrata.
His mom said two boys came to her door, Savoie and Eakin. They were asking if Sorger, who was considered mildly autistic, could come out and play. That was the last time she saw her son alive.
Sorger’s body was found that night at Oasis Park, covered in leaves and dozens of stab wounds.
Court records show police immediately suspected Savoie and Eakin. Despite their initial claims that Sorger fell out of a tree, both boys were charged as adults with first-degree murder, making Eakin the youngest in Washington history to face those charges as an adult.
In 2006, Eakin abruptly reversed course. He accepted a plea deal on second-degree murder by complicity. In court, he testified that Savoie had been the ringleader, first attacking Sorger with a large rock, then beating him with tree branches and stabbing him dozens of times with a knife.
Eakin was eventually sentenced to 14 years in prison and Savoie received 26 years.
At the time, Eakin said he was filled with anger.
“In prison, I spent a lot of time in lock-up, in solitary confinement because of trouble I got into. There was a block of time that I spent 14 months in there. I got out, and then I went back in there and served another nine months. That’s a good two-and-a-half years that I spent by myself. That was the time that I started to educate myself,” he said.
Eakin said he became an avid reader, devouring works about the Holocaust, slavery and the Bible.
“When the Lord saved me, I was in a county jail,” Eakin said.
After escaping work release in June 2016 and being re-arrested in South Dakota, Eakin was sent to the Yakima County Jail, where he said he found God.
“It was like a radical transformation,” he said.
Even with his newfound faith, Jake Eakin floundered a bit when he was released from jail in 2017. It all changed while watching an abortion protest video on YouTube.
“Something happened in that moment where a switch went off and the Lord kind of opened my eyes to the pre-born and abortion,” Eakin said.
Since then, Eakin has called himself an abolitionist and stages Planned Parenthood protests and anti-LGBTQ demonstrations across the region.
Instead of shrinking away from the public eye, Jake Eakin now seems to welcome the spotlight — some say a bit too much.
“He wants attention. And that’s his goal. That means is just a way to bring more attention to himself,” said Planned Parenthood spokesperson Paul Dillion. “No patient should ever come through our doors and have to face that kind of harassment and intimidation.”
KREM 2 asked Jake Eakin why he uses such abrasive tactics to get attention.
“Well, think of it this way. If we had a holocaust of 2-year-olds, instead of pre-born children, our response would be radically different, right? And so, the reason that I’m an abolitionist is because I believe in being consistent. Meaning, I believe children are being murdered down the street to where I live,” he said.
KREM 2 also asked him what he thinks when people call him the worse kind of hypocrite.
“So, this is where the beautiful thing is for me. We serve a God that can forgive murderers. And so, what I would say is that, we live in a culture that would, rightly, point a finger at me and say ‘murderer,’ ” he responded. “I am a murderer. Been redeemed through Christ. That same grace is being offered to all these mothers and fathers that are taking their children to Planned Parenthood. That’s why I’m out there.”
“I think he’s a con artist. I think he wants money. This is his job and he will say whatever he can to try and have people believe in him,” Dillion said.
Jake Eakin said he does consider his abolitionist ministry a full-time job, sometimes getting paid to do graphics and videos for various organizations. He said he financially supports his family mostly through donations.
What does Craig Sorger’s family think of their son’s murderer? KREM 2 reached out them multiple times but did not hear back. After the murder trial, they told KREM 2 their sense of loss will never be fully healed.
“I would love the opportunity to express to seek their forgiveness, to express my sorrow, to talk to them about their boy,” Jake Eakin said. “There’s probably not a day that goes by that I don’t look back at that. For me, it gives me a greater value of all life. I know how valuable it is. I’ve seen how fragile it is. And now, being older, being a man that’s experienced a lot in life, I can understand more than I could when I was 12 years old.”
Jake Eakin isn’t allowed to contact the Sorger family.
For some, Eakin’s past crime is simply unforgivable, while others believe his past is what makes his message today even more powerful.