Survivalist convicted in deadly trooper ambush
- Author: Jack Replman Apr 21, 2017,
Apr 21, 2017, 0:20
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.
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.
Cpl. Bryon Dickson II was killed and Trooper Alex Douglass was critically wounded in the 2014 attack.
Frein eluded capture for almost seven weeks before US marshals found him outside an abandoned airplane hangar more than 20 miles from the shooting scene.
Prosecutors presented more than 500 exhibits that helped tie Eric Frein (freen) to the deadly attack in Blooming Grove. Frein could either receive a sentence of life in prison or the death penalty.
"Eric Frein is a human being, with the qualities of humanity that we all have", defense attorney William Ruzzo said.
Authorities say Frein was trying to spark a revolution when he attacked the Blooming Grove state police barracks on September 12, 2014. Cpl.
Defense lawyer Michael Weinstein did not call any witnesses and in a 10-minute closing argument told jurors what happened that night was a "tragedy of monumental proportions". Pennsylvania last used the death penalty in 1999.
After hearing all the witnesses, a process that court officials say could take several days, jurors will be asked to weigh the aggravating and mitigating factors.
He also wrote a letter to his parents in which he advocated revolution as a way to "get us back the liberties we once had". The dragnet shut down schools and roads and hurt businesses in the mountainous region, which leans heavily on tourism.
The state has placed a moratorium on executions under Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf.
Frein showed no emotion as the verdicts were read.
"Today justice was served and a brutal murderer will be held accountable for his heinous and cowardly acts against members of the Pennsylvania State Police", he said in a statement.