MILFORD -- This spring, the man accused of the deadly ambush at the state police barracks at Blooming Grove is scheduled to go on trial at the Pike County Courthouse in Milford.
Leaders in Pike County expect Eric Frein's trial to last as long as eight weeks, on top of jury selection which is supposed to take place near Philadelphia. All of this will most likely come as an added cost to taxpayers next year.
Frein faces the death penalty if convicted, and his trial is not expected to be cheap.
The Pike County commissioners' proposed budget for next year has $250,000 set aside for what could end up being a two-month trial.
"To have a trial last that long is really unprecedented," said Pike County Commissioner Steven Guccini
Guccini explained the proposed tax increase includes more money for other budget categories, including pension costs and medical benefits, but the Frein trial will be costly for a number of reasons.
"There will be several weeks where we'll need to have our staff in Chester County for the jury selection," said Commissioner Guccini.
That jury of 12 plus four alternates would then have to stay in a hotel in Pike County and have meals provided. Plus, the defense attorneys are coming at a cost to the county and so will experts hired to testify for both the prosecution and defense.
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"Costs are certainly necessary to have this trial and to present evidence to hold Eric Frein accountable," said Pike County District Attorney Ray Tonkin.
The 48-day manhunt for Frein in the Poconos two years ago cost the state more than $11 million. His alleged sniper attack at the barracks killed Corporal Bryon Dickson and wounded Trooper Alex Douglass.
Now, taxpayers are none too pleased to be picking up the bill.
"We are sorry about why it's going on, understand fair trial aspect, (but) it's got to come from somebody else's pocket, not the citizens of the county," said Shawn Hilvers of Milford.
"Can't they work out something where they cop a plea or something and save everybody the time and money? This is not going to be an overnight or weekend deal," said Joseph Rebecky of Dingmans Ferry.
Overall, the proposed budget increase in Pike County would cost the average homeowner an extra $25 a year.
Next year's budget would be approved at the end of the month and Eric Frein is scheduled to go to trial in March.