Eric Frein sentenced to death in trooper ambush

Posted at 7:09 AM, Apr 27, 2017

A jury on Wednesday sentenced Eric Frein to death for killing a Pennsylvania state trooper and wounding another in a 2014 ambush.

Frein was convicted earlier this month of killing Cpl. Bryon Dickson and injuring Trooper Alex T. Douglass in the September 2014 ambush outside the state police barracks in Blooming Grove.

He was found guilty on all 12 counts, including first-degree murder and terrorism, according to Pike County District Attorney Ray Tonkin.

In Pennsylvania, the jury decides the penalty in first-degree murder cases.

"There is a satisfaction that the jurors have delivered full justice in this case and issued the penalty that is so richly deserved by Eric Frein," Tonkin told reporters late Wednesday in Pike County.

William Ruzzo, one of Frein's attorneys said he was shocked by the verdict and believed there were numerous mitigating factors.

"I'm surprised by it," he told reporters. "But they're the jury ... we work within the system, and they made their decision."

He said he planned to appeal.

"I think I have a really good issue in the ... failure to suppress confession," Ruzzo said.

"Tonight, we are pleased for the hard work and commitment to justice of the 12 men and women of this jury that deliberated diligently and brought justice in this particular case," Col. Tyree C. Blocker, commissioner of the Pennsylvania State Police told reporters.

Blocker said Dickson "will always remain in the hearts of all members of the Pennsylvania State Police forever," directing a message to the slain trooper's family.

Former Pennsylvania State Police Commissioner Frank Noonan, who headed the agency at the time of the shooting, recalled the ordeal that began two and a half years ago, and the outpouring of support from the northeastern Pennsylvania community to the state police and Dickson's family.

"I remember the kids at the elementary school that would send little cards to the barracks once a week telling us to keep our spirits up, all the people from the Red Cross and fire department that provided food and shelter and anything we needed," he told reporters.

"We were in this together," Noonan said.

He added: "This is a day that I think that we've all been through and finally reached a conclusion."