Accused Penn. cop killer Eric Frein guilty on all counts

Eric Frein now faces a possible death sentence. That phase will begin Thursday.
By Doug G. Ware   |   April 19, 2017 at 7:09 PM
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April 19 (UPI) -- The man who led authorities on a 48-day Pennsylvania manhunt nearly three years ago -- after killing a state trooper in an ambush -- was convicted on a dozen felony counts Wednesday, and is now faced with the prospect of a death sentence.

Eric Matthew Frein was found guilty by a Pennsylvania jury Wednesday afternoon on all counts, which included multiple charges of first-degree murder and attempted murder.

Additional charges included aggravated assault of a law enforcement officer, terrorism, using a weapon of mass destruction, possessing an instrument of crime, recklessly endangering others and firing a gun into an occupied structure.

Frein became the subject of a statewide manhunt on Sept. 12, 2014, after he ambushed two Pennsylvania state troopers with a .308-caliber rifle at a Bloomington Grove state police barracks. He shot Cpl. Bryon K. Dickson dead and wounded trooper Alex Douglass.

State and federal authorities immediately launched an intensive statewide search for Frein, who was ultimately captured by U.S. marshals at the end of October.

With his conviction sealed, Frein, 33, now faces the death penalty. The sentencing phase of the trial will begin Thursday and is expected to last into next week.

Prosecutors at the 10-day trial described Frein as an anti-government survivalist. His defense attorneys argued against that label.

"Eric Frein is a human being, with the qualities of humanity that we all have," defense attorney William Ruzzo said. "He has an inner core of goodness, as all of us do, despite some dastardly acts that he committed. Eric deserves to live."

"The jury took this case seriously," Pike County District Attorney Raymond Tonkin responded. "We will be working toward the appropriate sentence in this case."

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