Detectives: Man shoots, kills wife during divorce argument

Detectives: Man shoots, kills wife during divorce argument
David Eaton

SALEM, Ore. – Detectives arrested a Salem man who they said shot and killed his estranged wife during an argument about their divorce settlement on Monday.

David Paul Eaton, 45, faces one count of murder.

The shooting happened Monday afternoon at a home in rural South Salem in the 7500 block of  Heckart Lane SE.

The victim, a 30-year-old woman, has not been identified. Detectives are working to notify her family in her country of origin.

An autopsy revealed she died of multiple gunshot wounds.

Marion County detectives said Eaton called 9-1-1 just before 1 p.m. and told dispatchers that he shot the victim in self-defense when she came at him with a kitchen knife during an argument.

Sheriff's deputies said they found a knife in the victim’s hand and a gun on the floor next to her body.

In a later interview with detectives, Eaton changed his statement and said the victim did not have a knife when he shot her. He told detectives he shot her when she changed her mind about their divorce settlement agreement.

Eaton admitted to getting a knife from the kitchen and putting it in the victim’s hand to make it look like she had a knife when she was shot, according to detectives.

Detectives said Eaton told them he thought about killing his wife before and told them about one plan he had to poison his wife.

Eaton was taken to the Marion County Jail where he is being held without bail.