Pennsylvania Trooper Ambush Suspect Eric Frein's Lawyers Want Confession Tossed

A judge heard testimony Monday on whether he should throw out the videotaped confession of a man charged in the 2014 ambush slaying of a Pennsylvania trooper.

Attorneys for Eric Frein contend police violated his rights on the night of his arrest by continuing to interrogate him after he told them he didn't want to "answer questions about crimes." They also say police blocked an attorney hired by Frein's parents from seeing him.

The judge watched portions of the tape Monday and said he would rule later in the day. Opening statements in the trial are scheduled to begin Tuesday.

Frein, 33, could face a death sentence if he's convicted in the attack in northeastern Pennsylvania that killed Cpl. Bryon Dickson II and injured Trooper Alex Douglass. He led police on a 48-day manhunt in the Pocono Mountains before his capture by U.S. marshals.

The video of the police interview — which was conducted at the same barracks where Frein allegedly opened fire — showed Cpl. Michael Clark reading Frein his rights. Frein told police he didn't want to answer questions about crimes, but would provide information about the location of a rifle he'd buried in in the woods.

Authorities insist he agreed to cooperate.

Clark and Trooper Michael Mulvey struck up a friendly conversation with the former fugitive, offering him a cigarette, which Frein accepted, and praising Frein's parents.

"You know that you're famous? You're a national figure," Clark told him.

The troopers asked Frein if he knew Dickson left behind two children, then urged him to tell his story because, as Mulvey said, "the world wants to know."

Later in the interview, Frein called Dickson's slaying an assassination and said he did it to "wake people up" and make a change in government, according to court documents.

Authorities have said they have a wealth of physical evidence tying Frein to the crime, including spent shell casings in his sport utility vehicle that matched those found at the crime scene.

Police also recovered a journal allegedly written by Frein in which the gunman describes how he opened fire on two state troopers — watching one of his victims fall "still and quiet" — and then made his escape.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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