Pike County DA Seeks Death Penalty Against Accused Trooper Killer Eric Frein

The Pike County district attorney filed an intent to seek the death penalty against the survivalist who is accused of fatally shooting a Pennsylvania State Trooper and critically wounding another in an ambush outside a barracks last year.

Eric Frein, 31, of Canadensis, Pennsylvania faces a dozen charges, including first degree murder and terrorism, for allegedly killing Cpl. Bryon Dickson II and injuring Trooper Alex Douglass on Sept. 12 as the two law enforcement agents were walking outside the Blooming Grove Barracks.

Following the surprise attack, the suspect led authorities on a 48-day manhunt -- paralyzing a community that was forced to shelter in place and cancel classes for school children as the search for Frein continued.

Authorities eventually captured Frein on Oct. 30 in an abandoned airport hangar.

"The Commonwealth is seeking the death penalty," wrote Pike County District Attorney Raymond Tonkin in the filing.

Investigators said Frein confessed to what he described as an assassination designed to "wake people up." They say he also wrote a letter to his parents — the text of which was read in court Monday — calling for revolution to "get us back the liberties we once had."

"I do not have a death wish but I know the odds. I tried my best to do this thing without getting identified, but if you are reading this then I was not successful," said the letter, found on a computer storage drive that prosecutors say Frein had with him while he was on the run.

During a January hearing, when a judge ordered Frein to stand trial, the suspect's attorney Bill Ruzzo said his primary goal is to save Frein's life.

"It's a battle," said another defense attorney, Michael Weinstein, adding that Frein "understands his circumstances." 

Copyright AP - Associated Press
Contact Us