NJ native who ambushed police seeks to avoid death penalty

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NJ native who ambushed police seeks to avoid death penalty

A Pennsylvania man looking to "spark a revolution" has been found guilty of murdering a State Trooper on Wednesday. Closing arguments were scheduled for this morning.Pike County District Attorney Raymond J. Tonkin is seeking the death penalty against Frein, 33, who allegedly opened fire from a wooded area across the street from the Blooming Grove barracks in Pike County on September 12, 2014. Cpl. Bryon K. Dickson II, 38, of Dunmore while a third shot severely wounded Trooper Alex T. Douglass, 34, of Olyphant.

After the shooting, Frein eluded a 48-day manhunt through the dense forests of the Pocono Mountains, about 100 miles (160 km) north of Philadelphia.

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

Governor Tom Wolf released a statement regarding the conviction saying, "Today justice was served and a brutal murderer will be held accountable for his heinous and cowardly acts against members of the Pennsylvania State Police".

Additional charges included aggravated assault of a law enforcement officer, terrorism, using a weapon of mass destruction, possessing an instrument of crime, recklessly endangering others and firing a gun into an occupied structure.

"Eric Frein is a human being, with the qualities of humanity that we all have", defense attorney William Ruzzo said.

Prosecutors charge that the late-night ambush in the parking lot of the rural Blooming Grove state police barracks was aimed at sparking a "revolution".

Frein shot Dickson in the chest and through the shoulders and spine from a distance of 87 yards, waited almost 90 seconds until Trooper Alex Douglass came to Dickson's aid and then shot him, too, Tonkin said. "We can't make him a holy man, but we're trying to make him a man".

He faces a potential death sentence. Pennsylvania'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.

Lawyers for Eric M. Frein acknowledged that prosecutors had built a compelling case against their client, and they presented no evidence or testimony in his defense.

Jurors have heard closing arguments in the trial of a survivalist charged with ambushing two troopers at a Pennsylvania State Police barracks.

"The jury took this case seriously", Pike County District Attorney Raymond Tonkin responded.

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