An Indiana man is accused of shooting his girlfriend dead after she rejected his marriage proposal, police say.
Jason Eric Eaton, 43, has been charged in the October 25 murder of Wendy Sabatini in Greensburg, the Indianapolis Star reports.
Eaton confessed to the killing, investigators say, telling police he approached Sabatini, 44, with an engagement ring, and she said no before he could ask the question, the newspaper reports. Eaton told detectives he dropped the ring, went to his nightstand and got a gun.
He then went behind Sabatini, a mother of two, in their bedroom, firing a fatal shot into her head, police say.
Eaton was taken into custody later that day.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Eaton Went to a Friend’s House After the Shooting & Told Her ‘He Messed Up,’ Police Say
Jason Eaton told police he went to a friend’s house after the shooting and told her he “messed up” and thought he killed Wendy Sabatini, his girlfriend, after the failed proposal, the Greensburg Daily News reports.
Eaton and the other woman then went to police so he could turn himself in. Officers responded to the home where Eaton and Sabatini lived, and found her teen son, Lake Sabatini, at the house. Lake Sabatini thought his mother was at work and didn’t realize she was dead in her bedroom upstairs, police said.
Lake Sabatini told Fox 59 he came home from school, and made dinner, without realizing what had happened.
“The house looked different,” he told the news station, “and I don’t know why I didn’t go upstairs.”
Police found his mother’s body in her bedroom.
Jason Eaton was then arrested by police on a murder charge, the Greensburg Daily News reports.
2. Sabatini’s Son Says ‘Anybody Would Instantly Fall in Love’ With His Mom & He Knew She Didn’t Want to Get Married Again
Wendy Sabatini is survived by her son, Lake, and an adult daughter. She was divorced and her son said she didn’t want to get married again.
“I already knew that she was gonna say no,” Lake Sabatini told WXIN-TV. “She just didn’t want to get married again. She was married before. She just didn’t want to go do that again.”
He told the news station, “Anybody instantly would fall in love when you met her. She was a wonderful person. She was clean cut. If she needed to tell you she wouldn’t sugar coat it. She would tell you and just make everything feel better.”
In her obituary, Sabatini is described as, a “fun-loving, hard-working, determined and devoted mother, grandmother, sister and daughter.” Her funeral was held on October 31.
Sabatini was originally from Louisiana and worked at Valeo Engine Cooling, according to her obituary.
3. Eaton Had a ‘Rough Past,’ but Sabatini’s Son Says He Treated Them Well
Wendy Sabatini and her children knew Jason Eaton had a “rough past,” her son, Lake Sabatini, said, but he treated them well.
“He had a rough past but we didn’t care about that. We loved him as he was and he treated us well,” he told Fox 59.
“He was supposed to adopt me, to be my dad. I trusted him in every way and then this happens,” Lake Sabatini told the news station. “I don’t know how he could do that. My mom was so nice to him and my mom even helped him in any way she could.”
Details of Eaton’s past are not clear.
Online records show he has a history of arrests for using bogus checks in Oklahoma, but no history of violence or other charges have been found.
4. A GoFundMe Account Has Been Created to Help Sabatini’s Children & Raise Awareness About Domestic Violence
A GoFundMe account has been set up by family members of Wendy Sabatini in an effort to raise money for her two children and also raise awareness about domestic violence.
More than $2,000 had been raised as of November 1.
“She is flying high in the sky looking over us. I want to raise as much money as I can to help her daughter and son out,” Sabatini’s niece, Taylor Maddison Rasmus wrote on the page. “Wendy’s daughter is a single mother having a hard enough time trying to raise her daughter let alone losing her mother on top of it. Wendy’s son is about to graduate high school and go to college I want to help him out with college, food, and gas money.”
5. Eaton Is Being Held on a Murder Charge & Police Say the Investigation Is Ongoing
Jason Eaton is being held in Decatur County Jail on a murder charge, while police continue to investigate the shooting, the Greensburg Daily News reports.
He appeared in court for the first time on October 27 and was held without bond.
Eaton faces a maximum of 65 years in prison if convicted, with a minimum sentence of 45 years. He has pleaded not guilty and a preliminary trial date has been set for February 2017.
“The investigation by the Greensburg Police Department is ongoing,” Prosecuting Attorney Nathan Harter said in a statement. “Any person charged with a crime is presumed innocent until proven guilty. This office will have no further comment on this pending criminal case, consistent with the Indiana Rules of Professional Conduct.”