Prosecutors Seek Death Penalty for Accused Pennsylvania Trooper Killer, Eric Frein

A Pennsylvania prosecutor formally notified a court on Tuesday he is seeking the death penalty for the survivalist accused of killing one state trooper and wounding another in a barracks ambush in September.

Pike County District Attorney Ray Tonkin filed a document that listed aggravating circumstances that could send Eric Frein to the state's death row.

Frein is scheduled to be formally arraigned on Thursday at the courthouse in Milford, but Tonkin said he expects Frein to participate by video from the Pike County Correctional Facility.

Defense attorney Michael Weinstein said his client intends to plead not guilty. Weinstein declined to comment on the death penalty filing.

Frein faces charges that include first-degree murder in the shooting death of Cpl. Bryon Dickson and wounding of Trooper Alex Douglass outside the state police station in Blooming Grove on Sept. 12. Frein was captured Oct. 30 after a 48-day manhunt in the dense woods of the Pocono Mountains in northeastern Pennsylvania.

The new filing by Tonkin notes that Dickson was slain while on duty, and it alleges Frein killed Dickson while committing other felonies and that he "knowingly created a grave risk of death" for Douglass and another person at the scene.

Frein is charged with murder, assault, terrorism, weapons of mass destruction and other offenses.

He was captured at an abandoned airplane hangar, about 24 miles from the shooting scene, by federal marshals.

Authorities say Frein confessed to what he called an assassination, and that he wrote in a letter to his parents saying he wanted a revolution to restore liberties.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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