Condemned police ambush killer back in court for sentence
- By MICHAEL RUBINKAM Associated Press
- Apr 27, 2017 Updated 19 hrs ago
MILFORD, Pa. (AP) — A gunman condemned to die for a 2014 sniper attack that killed a Pennsylvania trooper and injured a second arrived at the courthouse Thursday for his formal sentencing, one of his last stops before heading to the state’s crowded death row.
Eric Frein, the would-be revolutionary convicted of the late-night ambush attack at the troopers’ barracks, was sentenced to death Wednesday by the same jury that previously convicted him of murder of a law enforcement officer, terrorism and other offenses.
A judge is scheduled to formally impose the sentence Thursday afternoon.
Prosecutors said Frein, 33, was hoping to start an uprising against the government when he opened fire on the Blooming Grove barracks in the Pocono Mountains on Sept. 12, 2014. Cpl. Bryon Dickson II, a Marine veteran and married father of two, was killed, and Trooper Alex Douglass was critically wounded.
Frein led police on a 48-day manhunt after the ambush, and for a time, he was among America’s most wanted criminals.
Prosecutors portrayed him as a remorseless killer who attacked troopers at random in hopes of fomenting rebellion. The defense had asked the jury to spare Frein’s life, arguing he’d been raised in a dysfunctional home. The jurors rejected his upbringing as a mitigating factor that would point them toward a sentence of life in prison without parole.
Frein’s lawyers promised to tie up his case in appeals.
There are 171 people on death row in Pennsylvania, which hasn’t carried out an execution since 1999 and only three since the U.S. Supreme Court restored the death penalty more than 40 years ago. A statewide moratorium on executions has been imposed by Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf.