Frein Trial Means Possible Tax Hike

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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.

"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.

14 comments

  • #freefrein.com

    Lets all stop with the quips and try to be honest with this situation. He’s more than likely innocent. A jury will probably find him innocent. Let him be free. Don’t waste this money to begin with. Give the taxpayers a break. I think he was framed. After all, remember O.J. Simpson? We ALL thought he was guilty. But of course after a fair trial, we found out he didn’t do it. Yes, innocent.

  • i quit..

    Jury is waste of time and money. Years later will be changed by judge . Whole system built by lawyers and gov. to make money..

  • Silverfish Imperetrix

    “Including pension costs and medical benefits” Yep…it’s for the teachers. What an outrageous, bald-faced lie.

  • Silverfish Imperetrix

    “Including pension costs and medical benefits” Yep…it’s for the teachers. What an outrageous, bald-faced lie..

  • Too funny

    Everyone should know about jury nullifaction. Busloads to all philly courthouses and surrounding areas There are already being planned for protestors to stand ourside with signs with frein cop killer, jury nullification etc.

    Nice that w n e p hides this article in county by county pike county. When this the top story for pike county? It should be on the main page for at least a week. What is up with that?

  • Fredric Undehill

    The D.A. got reelected on the strength of his tough guy act. I hope you enjoyed the show. The search cost as much as about 2 F-18 fighters. The trail is going to be almost as costly in expenses not to mention tarnishing the image Milford and Pike County like to portray.

    The joke here is the jurors had to come from Philadelphia where they know about Jury Nullification. So this could be a dice role and Frein could walk or get a lesser included conviction. Suppose the jury convicts of killing but gives him 20 years to life or life without possibility of parole? This ends up costing Pike County about $350,000 a year. If they convict and give him the death sentence, it will still be 10 years before the sentence is carried out. Any verdict can be flipped on appeal because of all the publicity the media, such as WNEP gave it,

    Wake up and smell the coffee and plead this out now.

  • Fredric Undehill

    Save the Disney TV western junk. He was surrendering. Prearranged. It was the bullies at the PSP which put him in cuffs and then smash him. This is a $1.5 million dollar show trail which will destroy the image of this cartoon world.

  • Dan Wesson (NRA FOR LIFE)

    If I were that US Marshall who opened the door to that airplane hanger and saw him standing there holding a 1911 45 ACP there would not be a trial only a funeral. How many poor people or children’s Christmas would all those millions of dollars help. Not to mention the fact that they are not done spending money yet. Give me a break

  • Spingle Bob

    Now that’s a good use of resources if I’ve ever seen one, and I live in Pennsylvania so I know what it means to spend money on meaningful purposes and what an honest, reasonable government should look like.

  • What a joke !

    “Yes , you pay taxes for the roads, but if you want the pot holes filled that will requine a tax hike”. Said commissioner Guccini.

Comments are closed.