Tuesday, 25 July, 2017

Survivalist who ambushed police seeks to avoid death penalty

License N  A Created 2015:05:05 11:17:21 Trial ending for Pennsylvania man who eluded manhunt in trooper ambush
Howard Terry | 21 April, 2017, 00:20

The man accused of killing a Pennsylvania state trooper was convicted of all counts by a jury on Wednesday and now faces the death penalty - more than two years after he led law enforcement on a almost 50-day manhunt.

Frein, 33, of Canadensis, Pennsylvania, faces the death penalty for first-degree murder of a law-enforcement officer.

Frein ambushed state police during a shift change at the Blooming Grove barracks in 2014, killing Corporal Bryon Dickson II, 38, Tonkin said. Bryon K. Dickson, 38, of Dunmore, and wounding Trooper Alex Douglass, 34, of Olyphant, in a September 12, 2014 sniper attack outside of the Blooming Grove state police barracks.

Prosecutors presented more than 500 pieces of evidence tying Frein to the attack.

The jury of eight women and four men from Chester County will now consider whether Frein should get the death penalty or spend the rest of his life in prison.

The defense said Frein deserved to live despite his "dastardly acts", as his lawyer put it.

Alex Douglass was a CrossFit and running enthusiast who ran a 50-mile ultra-marathon when he wasn't working his day job as a state police trooper. "The way they villainized him, we can't make him a holy man, but we're trying to make him a man".

Pike County District Attorney Ray Tonkin described Frein during closing arguments as "a terrorist with murder in his heart, a plan in his mind and a rifle in his hand, who slithered through the woods".

Closing arguments were scheduled for Wednesday morning.

The search involved 1,000 law enforcement officials and spanned more than 300 square miles of the Pocono mountain wilderness in northeastern Pennsylvania.

Frein showed no emotion as the verdicts were read. He wrote a letter to his parents while on the run in which he talked about sparking a revolution.

The dragnet shut down schools and roads and forced several small towns to cancel trick or treating on Halloween. The state's last execution was in 1999, and it has executed only three people since the U.S. Supreme Court restored the death penalty in 1976.

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