Death penalty phase closes in Pennsylvania trooper sniper case

Bell tolls as police ambush killer gets death sentence

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A jury is deliberating into the night over whether to sentence a man to death or to life in prison without parole for ambushing two Pennsylvania state police troopers at their barracks, killing one.

A jury has given the death penalty to a gunman who targeted Pennsylvania state troopers at their barracks, killing one and leaving a second with devastating injuries. Bryon Dickson and wounding of Trooper Alex Douglass. Instead, they sought to persuade jurors to see Frein's troubled home life - with an abusive, alcoholic father who railed against police and the government, and fabricated stories about being a war hero - as reason to spare him from the death penalty.

Eric Frein traded a suit and tie for prison garb, and his hands and feet were shackled as a judge pronounced what he called an "entirely warranted" sentence on the convicted murderer and terrorist.

All 12 jurors agreed Eric Frein should be executed for murdering Pennsylvania State Police Cpl. Frein was captured after a 48-day manhunt in Monroe and Pike Counties.

"Full justice is sentencing this defendant to death", he declared. Trooper Alex Douglass was severely injured.

MILFORD, Pa. (AP) — The bell atop the Pike County Courthouse last tolled the fate of a condemned killer in the 1980s. Otherwise he will automatically receive a life sentence. Though Gov. Tom Wolf, a Democrat, imposed a moratorium on executions, Ruzzo noted that President Donald J. Trump won Pennsylvania and a future Republican governor might lift the moratorium.

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Frein's attorney, Michael Weinstein, spent most of his closing argument blasting the gunman's parents.

New York Law School professor Robert Blecker was the last prosecution witness in the penalty phase of Frein's trial.

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.

Frein was on the loose for nearly 48 days after committing the crime.

"He (Frein) grew up in a dysfunctional household", Ruzzo told reporters after the trial had concluded for the day.

After the defense rested its case, First Assistant District Attorney Bruce DeSarro played a jailhouse recording of Frein and his mother from November 19, 2014, almost three weeks after his capture by US marshals.

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