Frein Penalty Proceeding Delayed

MILFORD -- Court was delayed Monday morning in the penalty phase of the Eric Frein murder trial in Pike County.

Jurors saw two new sides to convicted cop killer Eric Frein as the penalty phase of his trial continued in Pike County court.

There was no testimony from Frein's defense Monday morning in Pike County court. Instead, there was a delay and a lot of confusion.

It all started when the cop killer walked into the courtroom looking disheveled and unable to walk. That's when defense attorney Michael Weinstein asked the judge for a competency hearing stating Frein was put on suicide watch and has been acting strangely.

"Eric would not walk or talk this morning while in prison. He was not communicating with anyone and is just staring off into space," Weinstein said in court.

A deacon was brought in to speak to Frein after his attorneys say he wrote "bible" on a piece of paper when asked what was wrong.

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Weinstein asked the judge to send Frein for a psychiatric evaluation, stating," if he is having a psychotic episode and we called on him, he couldn't help us."

Prosecutors then objected to the request, playing a phone conversation that was recorded between Frein and his mother on Saturday.

Frein told his mother he hadn't slept, that no one knows why he was put on psychiatric watch.

He talked to his mother about the case, stating he was unhappy that Weinstein was not asking any questions, saying, "Mike didn't question anything. I hate to say it, but I wish Tonkin was the defense lawyer. But they kept saying, 'no question, no question,' when there are so many questions."

The judge denied the motion after the phone recording played.

"We believe the phone call demonstrated that Eric was talking about his appeal.  He understands the prosecutor. He understood the role of his lawyer, the judge, and understood the role of the jury, and we are of the opinion that this is all Eric Frein trying to delay the proceedings," said Pike County District Attorney Ray Tonkin.

In the afternoon, Frein's mother Debbie Frein took the stand. Both she and her son cried as pictures of their family were shown to jurors.

It was the first time Eric Frein has shown emotion in court.

Debbie Frein begged the jurors to spare her son's life, saying he's been made out to be a monster, but that is not Eric at all.

Frein's father also testified. Eugene Frein told jurors how he would occasionally talk to his son about his time in the Vietnam War. He told jurors he failed Eric as a father because he didn't push him enough.

Frein's defense team says their client came from a dark home.

"I think it was important that the jury meet the Frein family," said defense attorney Michael Weinstein. "It's important they understand what was going on in the Frein household all those years. It was our goal to present Eric and the Frein family in light of how they live."

The jury must decide if Eric Frein should receive the death penalty.

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