Captured last night, Eric Frein, 31, the man accused of killing one state trooper and severely injuring another, was in court this morning in Pike County, Pennsylvania. Pike County District Attorney Raymond Tonkin plans to seek the death penalty. Frein was not accompanied by legal counsel and did not enter a plea. His next court appearance will be Nov. 12.
Eric Frein has been eluding law enforcement since he allegedly shot and killed State Trooper Cpl. Bryon Dickson and injured Trooper Alex Douglass September 12, outside the Blooming Grove trooper barracks near State Route 402, about 40 miles south of Scranton, in Pennsylvania.
He was taken into custody late Thursday when he was discovered, unarmed, in an airport hangar near Buck Hill. Special Task Force U.S. Marshalls issued a bit of “cop justice” when the arrest went down. Frein was handcuffed using the very cuffs that belonged to Cpl. Dickson. Frein was also transported to jail in Cpl. Dickson police cruiser. Just minutes ago, CNN reported that Frein is being held in the same barracks where Cpl. Dickson was shot.
Photographs taken following Frein’s capture indicate his nose appears to be broken. While Frein said he got the “scratch” prior to his capture, observers wonder if the nasal skid marks were caused by a hard landing on the tarmac near the airport hangar.
Authorities said Frein did not put up resistance when confronted by the U.S. Marshalls. He is said to have fallen to his knees, hands up, avoiding “death by cop” which is what many have conjectured would happen when the manhunt finally ended. Several law enforcement agencies have taken part in the search since Cpl. Dickson was killed.
Schools have been closed and residential areas put on “shelter in place” status when law enforcement suspected Frein was in the area. One community cancelled their Halloween parade out of an abundance of caution fearing Frein would take advantage of other officers while they worked the parade route.
Frein has left a trail while he has been on the run; debris, notes, an assault rifle and lots of ammunition had been recovered. One revealing item was left behind from what appears to be a daily journal or diary of sorts. Frein wrote:
“Got a shot around 11 p.m. and took it,” Frein wrote on papers found by police. “He [Dickson] dropped. I was surprised at how quick.”
Frein is no longer one of the FBI’s most wanted criminals. The criminal justice process has just begun.
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