Jury to weigh life, death for ambush killer

Cheryl Sanders
April 27, 2017

MILFORD, Pa. (AP) - A jury is expected to begin weighing the sentence for a gunman who targeted Pennsylvania state troopers at their barracks, killing one and leaving a second with devastating injuries.

A decision is reached by the jury Wednesday night in the penalty phase of the Eric Frein trial.

His lawyers said outside court they did not want to expose Frein to cross-examination, fearing he might try to "rationalize" the deadly ambush.

Frein was convicted last week of the sniper attack on the Blooming Grove barracks that killed Dickson and injured Douglass. Bryon K. Dickson II and shooting Trooper Alex Douglass in 2014.

The search for Frein, who was accused of killing a Pennsylvania state trooper and injuring another, came to an end on October 30, 2014, after he was captured by U.S. Marshals at an abandoned airport near Tannersville, Pennsylvania.

Prosecutors have said Frein was trying to foment a rebellion against the government.

The jury must decide whether to sentence Frein to the death penalty or life in prison without parole.

After a massive manhunt that spanned seven weeks, the 33-year-old was apprehended and later convicted of nearly a dozen counts, including terrorism and murder, as USA Today reported.

Tiffany Frein, who was adopted into the family when she was 4, described a highly dysfunctional household.

It's unlikely Frein will be put to death any time soon.

Deborah Frein can be selfish manipulator and acts like a child, Tiffany Frein testified Eugene Frein can be kind but is also angry, self-centered and arrogant, she told jurors.

Sarah Adkins, 18, who lives with her parents on the same street where the suspect was barricaded, said that shortly after arriving home early Thursday afternoon, she started hearing sporadic gunfire that lasted for about an hour and resumed at other intervals. Lawyers hope the jury will consider Frein's relationship with Mike Frein a mitigating circumstance.

Frein was being "hounded" by media at the time, said defense lawyer Michael Weinstein, who characterized the comments as off the cuff.

Under cross-examination by Frein's defense attorney Michael Weinstein, Blecker acknowledged that being away from family is punishment for inmates. In a letter to his parents, written while he was on the run but never sent, he complained about lost liberties, spoke of revolution and said, "The time seems right for a spark to ignite a fire in the hearts of men".

Eric Frein, 33, was sentenced by a jury to death by lethal injection a week after his conviction on charges including murder of a law enforcement officer and terrorism.

A reporter for NBC affiliate WBRE of Wilkes-Barre said Frein showed no emotion after the verdict was read, and there was an audible "yes" from members of the state police in the courtroom.

Other reports by iNewsToday