Frein Jury Selection to Start Thursday

PIKE COUNTY -- Jury selection in the high-profile death penalty case against Eric Frein is about to start.

Many people who lived through the deadly attack on state police in Pike County two and a half years ago have been waiting for Frein to go on trial.

The jury will come from Chester County and the process starts Thursday.

Prosecutors say Eric Frein ambushed troopers in 2014 during a late-night shift change.

Because the attack and the manhunt that followed affected so many people in this area, a jury is being picked in Chester County and the process could take weeks.

After one of the FBI's most wanted fugitives was captured in late October, 2014, prosecutors in Pike County and Eric Frein's defense attorneys have been preparing for a death penalty trial that's expected to get even more national attention.

The sniper attack happened at the Blooming Grove state police barracks.

Corporal Bryon Dickson was killed. Trooper Alex Douglass badly hurt. The search for the sniper lasted 48 days.

Lynn Mills lives within a mile of the barracks, a focal point for the massive police presence that searched for Eric Frein from Pike County to Monroe County.

Mills is ready for Frein's trial starting with jury selection in Chester County outside Philadelphia.

"I think it should be over," said Mills. "I think they should finally get done and get everything over, instead of dragging it on."

Mills' coworkers at Lake Region IGA near Hawley chipped in to help troopers as they searched while grieving for one of their own.

"I think it will bring a lot of closure, overdue closure. I think the victims, victim's family, this community, they deserve a quick and effective trial. It seems it's taken too long," Julie Brussell said.

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Instead of a jury from Pike County, 1,200 people were summoned to go through jury selection in Chester County. It may take weeks for both sides to pick the 12 needed plus alternates.

It also is expected to cost taxpayers because court staff and attorneys and even Eric Frein himself will be staying in Chester County as long as it takes to pick a jury.

"It bothered me a trooper got killed, especially the way he got killed," said Jim Novak.

Novak won't be on the jury but he did find Frein's vehicle a couple miles from the state police barracks. He may be called to testify at the trial that could last two months or more.

"You know, time heals? No, it doesn't heal, not when you're slaughtered like that. That's just unbelievable."

The Pike County district attorney is seeking the death penalty and so legal experts say that means picking a jury will likely be a painstaking process.

For instance, potential jurors will be asked to miss work for roughly two months as well as having to decide, if found guilty, if Eric Frein should be punished by death.

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