Eric Frein Sentenced to Death

MILFORD -- The jury took nearly five hours to reached a verdict in the penalty phase of convicted killer Eric Frein. The decision: the death penalty.

Jurors began deliberating around 5 p.m. Wednesday. They reached a decision just before 10 p.m.

All 12 jurors agreed Eric Frein should be executed for murdering Pennsylvania State Police Cpl. Bryon K. Dickson II and shooting Trooper Alex Douglass in Pike County in 2014.

A shout of "Yes!" went out from Trooper Douglass as the sentence of death was read in court. Jurors found no mitigating factors.

"I'm surprised by it, but they're the jury and we've told you before, we work within the system and they made their decision," said defense attorney Bill Ruzzo.

The bell on the Pike County Courthouse rang out Wednesday night for the first time since the 1980s, the last time there was a death sentence imposed. It's a tradition going back many years in the county.

"Corporal Dickson will always remain in the hearts of all members of the Pennsylvania State Police forever," said Col. Tyree Blocker, Pennsylvania State Police Commissioner.

The jury of eight women and four men from Chester County heard rebuttal witnesses Wednesday morning, followed by closing arguments from both legal teams in the afternoon. Frein's attorneys begged jurors to spare his life, asking for a decision of life in prison. Prosecutors, on the other hand, called Frein a "cold-blooded killer" who deserves "full justice," meaning the death penalty.

Last week, the same jury found Frein guilty on all charges. He was accused of the deadly ambush at the Blooming Grove state police barracks in September 2014 that left Corporal Bryon Dickson dead and Trooper Alex Douglass badly hurt. Frein was charged with first-degree murder, attempted murder, first-degree murder and attempted murder of a law enforcement officer, several weapons charges, and terrorism.

Frein was captured after a 48-day manhunt in Monroe and Pike Counties inside an airplane hangar at the abandoned Birchwood - Pocono Airpark near Tannersville in Monroe County.

Search warrants revealed Frein was able to evade authorities for weeks by using his laptop and unsecured WiFi internet connections.

Frein's attorneys argued before the trial that the death penalty is unconstitutional and wanted it taken off the table.

Formal sentencing is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Thursday at the Pike County Courthouse.

8 comments

  • Adam Tomasz Swieciaszek

    True. I was there for his first court , he was brought in threw the side door. But was brought back out threw the front door to walk past all the camera’s on the sheriff’s order. A Circus nothing more

  • john williams

    George Banks WAS sentenced to death, and a PA Govorner signed his execution warrant THREE times. But then he was found “incompetent for execution”

  • El Ma

    I think it’s a glaring indication of what’s important, and what isn’t if this comment is “awaiting moderation.” My, my……..constructive criticism shouldn’t equal hurt feelings. Learn something from it rather than discount the observations. Sheeesh.

  • Get Over It

    How about his confession and all the other evidence that was presented? It’s a wonder how some of you people carry out the functions of daily life without constant care and attention.

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