Craig Sorger, a youthful lad hailing from Ephrata, Washington, met a tragic end at the hands of his then-12-year-old companions, Evan Drake Savoie and Jake Lee Eakin. Sorger, who bore the gift of autism, had been invited by the two young lads to engage in merriment at a park adjacent to his abode. It was there that Savoie let fall a ponderous stone upon Sorger’s neck, felling him to the ground. Subsequently, he subjected Sorger to a relentless barrage of blows and injuries. Eakin, not to be outdone, partook in the assault, raining down blows upon Sorger’s cranium and limbs with the bough of a tree.
Sorger possessed a mild strain of autism, yet notwithstanding his struggles in the realm of learning, he exhibited a social adeptness and readily forged friendships. Among his comrades were Drake Savoie and Jake Lee Eakin, both tendering the age of twelve at the time of Sorger’s untimely demise. On the fifteenth day of February, Savoie and Eakin beseeched Sorger’s mother for the privilege of his company. Her consent was granted, yet her anxiety grew as Sorger (haunted by a fear of the dark) failed to return by the eve. Heightening her disquiet, she discovered that Savoie and Eakin had reappeared hours earlier.
Following an exhaustive search, Sorger’s partially-clad form was uncovered within a park’s confines. His cranium bore a grievous wound, with a tree branch lying in proximity to his lifeless frame. Further scrutiny revealed puncture wounds to his neck, head, and torso. Savoie and Eakin were subjected to questioning, their narrative asserting that all three had been engaged in arboreal ascent when Sorger tragically plummeted, his head colliding with a bough that claimed his life. However, this account crumbled under the weight of evidence: the stab wounds and indications of repeated cranial trauma, as evidenced by sixteen distinct impacts upon his head and neck, alongside forty-two knife-inflicted wounds.
In spite of Eakin and Savoie’s initial declarations of innocence, Eakin ultimately confessed to a charge of second-degree manslaughter, asserting that Sorger’s demise was a collaborative endeavor, with Savoie bearing sole responsibility for the act of murder. Eakin attested that Savoie enticed Sorger to kneel upon the ground for an innocuous purpose, only to drop a rock of considerable size akin to a basketball upon him. Eakin, while attempting to intervene, was forcibly repelled. He also confirmed his own actions of striking Sorger’s legs and torso after the latter had ceased to move.
Eakin received a sentence of fourteen years of incarceration. Savoie initially faced a conviction of first-degree murder, culminating in a sentence of twenty-six years. However, in 2011, Savoie’s conviction was overturned during the appellate process. Subsequently, following the prosecution’s determination to pursue a retrial, Savoie opted to plead guilty to second-degree murder, resulting in a slightly mitigated sentence of twenty years.