Survivalist who ambushed police seeks to avoid death penalty
The governor of Pennsylvania is applauding the guilty verdict against a survivalist who ambushed two troopers at a state police barracks, killing one.
Frein was charged with first-degree murder, attempted murder, first-degree murder and attempted murder of a law enforcement officer, several weapons charges, and terrorism.
Outside the courthouse after the verdict had been announced, Eric Frein's defense attorney William Ruzzo said the defense's attention is shifting to convince the jury that his client does not deserve the death penalty. Bryon Dickson and wounding trooper Alex Douglass in September 2014 during a sniper attack on a police station during a shift change.
Prosecution witnesses testified about the 48-day manhunt that Frein, an experienced outdoorsman, eluded through the dense forests of the Pocono Mountains, about 100 miles north of Philadelphia, in the northeast corner of the state.
Prosecutors presented more than 500 exhibits that helped tie Eric Frein (freen) to the deadly attack in Blooming Grove.
The jury of eight women and four men from Chester County will now consider whether Frein should get the death penalty or spend the rest of his life in prison. Bryon Dickson II and seriously injured Trooper Alex Douglass. "We can't make him a holy man, but we're trying to make him a man".
Prosecutors will ask the same jury that convicted Frein to send him to death row.
Pike County District Attorney Ray Tonkin described Frein during closing arguments as "a terrorist with murder in his heart, a plan in his mind and a rifle in his hand, who slithered through the woods".
Defense lawyer Michael Weinstein did not call any witnesses and in a 10-minute closing argument told jurors what happened that night was a "tragedy of monumental proportions". According to the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections, only three people have been executed since 1976, when the U.S. Supreme Court restored the death penalty in the state.
The state has placed a moratorium on executions under Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf.
"Today justice was served and a brutal murderer will be held accountable for his heinous and cowardly acts against members of the Pennsylvania State Police", he said in a statement.