UPDATE: Pre-Trial Hearing in Frein Case

MILFORD -- The trial for accused cop killer Eric Frein is scheduled to begin Tuesday, April 4. Before the start of the trial, the judge heard pretrial motions on Monday morning.

Prosecutors want to show jurors a video of Eric Frein's confession after his capture. Defense attorneys wanted a taped video confession thrown out, saying troopers violated Eric Frein's rights when they continued questioning him for hours after he was captured.

The judge ruled late Monday that troopers didn't violate Frein's right to remain silent, setting up a key part of the case against the accused cop killer.

One juror has been excused even before testimony starts due to a family issue, leaving 12 jurors and five alternates to hear the capital murder case starting Tuesday morning.

Crews hammered away outside the Pike County courthouse in Milford installing a fence around the entrance that will be used by victims, witnesses, jurors and even Eric Frein during the weeks-long trial.

A tarp was put up around the fence as a security measure now that the stage is set for opening statements.

"We're looking forward to starting the trial tomorrow and bringing justice on behalf of all the victims in this matter," said Pike County District Attorney Ray Tonkin.

Prosecutors and defense attorneys had some final issues to solve before the guilt phase of the trial can begin, namely, how much of a recorded interview of Eric Frein at the Blooming Grove barracks following his capture in October 2014 is allowed at trial.

Frein's attorneys argue troopers violated his rights by continuing to interrogate him after he said he wouldn't talk about any crimes.

"Mr. Frein invoked his right not to discuss a crime. He wanted to advise the police where a rifle was buried because he didn't want children to find it," said Frein's attorney Michael Weinstein.

Troopers interviewed Frein for three to four hours and kept interviewing him after he said he wanted to speak to an attorney. A judge ruled that the investigators didn't violate Frein's right to remain silent since he wasn't clear enough.

But defense attorneys argued Corporal Benjamin Clark "skillfully ignored" Frein's rights during the interrogation where Frein and troopers joked at times and Frein smoked a cigarette.

Prosecutors were also granted permission to show crime scene and autopsy photos at trial of Corporal Bryon Dickson, killed in the attack.

Pike County District Attorney Ray Tonkin would not say who will take the stand on day one.

"I don't want to comment on specific evidence. You have been able to look at probable cause affidavit and there's a wealth of evidence," Tonkin said.

Eric Frein's attorneys say the judge's ruling on the confession could be grounds for appeal.

Eric Frein is charged with killing one state trooper, and critically wounding another, outside the Blooming Grove barracks back in September of 2014.

He was captured after a 48-day manhunt.

Jury selection was recently completed in Chester County. That jury will be brought here to Pike County to hear the case.

Opening statements are set for Tuesday morning.

10 comments

    • Lance Grach

      Are you high/ His identification was at the scene along with his car. He had sniper manuals in his house not to mention while on the run he had stashes of weapons all over the woods. He hid for 48 days. He wrote a log while on the run. Really? He murdered someone .
      Why would you believe he was set up? What possible motivation for the cops to pick on this sap?

    • les

      @I
      If you have proof of that you’d better get in touch with his defense attorney. If not, he’s getting the blue juice as he should.

    • ?

      It’s unfortunate that they only beat his face. Let me guess, he’s innocent? He just wanted to play 40+ day game of hide and go seek because that’s what all the innocent people of the world do? Tax dollars paid for that game of hide and go seek. I don’t care that it’s a cop he killed. He killed another human being and that’s enough to make him a criminal.

      • Lance Grach

        Hey Schmeer!
        Yeah most people hike and camp. Not hiding in an old hangar, And the weapons were for defense against wild animals right? He had a laptop. He knew people were looking for him. If he was sooooo innocent. Why not come out sooner and say I’m here! He hid costing taxpayers over 12 million. Gonna cost the taxpayers in Pike more than $200 per person in Pike on this trial. That Marshal should have saved us all with a 75 cent bullet. I don’t cry for Freins bruises. He’s lucky to be alive.

    • les

      @just wondering-
      That happened when the federal marshall put his knee on the back of his neck and pushed his face to the pavement when hand-cuffing him. Things happen when you do what this mutant did and evade the law for weeks.

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