The trial of Eric Frein, a Pennsylvania outdoorsman accused of killing a state trooper in a 2014 sniper attack that triggered a massive manhunt, wraps up with closing arguments on Wednesday.
Now that the 33-year-old has been convicted of first-degree murder, the defense will shift its focus to trying to persuade the jury to spare his life. Our thoughts remain with the family of Corporal Dickson, Trooper Douglass, and all those whose lives have been forever changed by the events of September 12, 2014.
Frein was captured after a 48-day manhunt, in which he left bombs in the woods.
The penalty phase in the case will begin on Thursday.
"Eric Frein is a human being, with the qualities of humanity that we all have", defense attorney William Ruzzo said.
Frein is charged with first-degree murder; first-degree murder of a law enforcement officer; attempted first-degree murder; attempted first-degree murder of a law enforcement officer; assault of a law enforcement officer; two counts each of terrorism and possession of weapons of mass destruction; and one count each of recklessly endangering another person, discharge of a firearm into an occupied structure and possession of an instrument of crime.
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Lawyers for Eric Frein acknowledged that prosecutors had built a compelling case against their client, and they presented no evidence or testimony in his defense.
The abrupt end to the evidentiary part of the trial sets the stage for closing statements Wednesday morning and a possible verdict by the end of the day.
All of the evidence presented at trial will be presented through the sentencing phase. He wrote a letter to his parents while on the run in which he talked about sparking a revolution.
Pennsylvania has a moratorium on executions under Gov. Tom Wolf.
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 US marshals outside an abandoned airplane hangar near Tannersville, Pennsylvania.