Ambush suspect a 'terrorist' who targeted police

Ambush suspect a 'terrorist' who targeted police

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

Eric Matthew Frein shot and killed a Pennsylvania state trooper during a 2014 sniper attack on the Blooming Grove state police barracks, a jury found this evening. Bryon Dickson and wounding trooper Alex Douglass in September 2014 during a sniper attack on a police station during a shift change.

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. Bryon Dickson II, a married father of two, died in the ambush. He says the verdict means "a brutal murderer will be held accountable for his heinous and cowardly acts".

Defense lawyer Michael Weinstein did not call any witnesses and in a 10-minute closing argument told jurors what happened that night was a "tragedy of monumental proportions".

Prosecution witnesses testified about the 48-day manhunt that Frein, an experienced outdoorsman, eluded through the dense forests of the Pocono Mountains, about 100 miles north of Philadelphia, in the northeast corner of the state.

Last week, Frein's videotaped statement to police - recorded on the night of his 2014 capture and aired publicly for the first time during his capital murder trial - offered new details into what the accused sniper was thinking and doing before, during and after the deadly ambush.

Tonkin is seeking the death penalty.

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"We can't make him a holy man but we will try to make him a man", Ruzzo said.

Before Dickson and Douglass were shot, Frein had been mulling an ambush for months, authorities said at the time.

The penalty phase of Frein's trial begins Thursday.

Frein was convicted of first-degree murder of a law enforcement officer, attempted murder, terrorism and two weapons of mass destruction counts related to the small bombs he left in the woods during the manhunt. If jurors unanimously agree the aggravating circumstances outweigh the mitigating circumstances, his sentence will be death.

Jurors have seen a letter that a survivalist wrote to his parents after a 2014 attack on a state police barracks that killed a Pennsylvania trooper and injured a second. "They looked at all the evidence and rendered a very serious verdict", said Pike County District Attorney Ray Tonkin.

Douglass' testimony was the most anticipated of a trial in which prosecutors have introduced hundreds of pieces of evidence tying Frein to the crime.

The $11 million manhunt, which landed him on the Federal Bureau of Investigation's most wanted list and put the community on edge for weeks, ended when he was captured by USA marshals outside an abandoned airplane hangar near Tannersville, Pennsylvania.

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