Guest Author - Vance R. Rowe
ric Frein was a war reenactor and self-proclaimed survivalist turned domestic terrorist in the United States in 2014. On the night of September 12 2014, Eric Frein shot and killed Pennsylvania State Trooper Bryon K. Dickson II and seriously wounded Trooper Alex Douglass in the Blooming Grove Township of Pennsylvania in the Pocono Mountains. He used a .308-caliber rifle from a distance of 87 yards. Eric Frein is a man with a grudge against law enforcement and a man with a grudge against the US Government as a whole. In a letter to his parents on December 29, 2013, almost a year before his attack, Eric Frein wrote:
Our nation is far from what it was and what it should be. I have seen so many depressing changes made in my time that I cannot imagine what it must be like for you. There is so much wrong and on so many levels only passing through the crucible of another revolution can get us back the liberties we once had... I do not pretend to know what that revolution will look like or even if it would be successful...
Eric Frein also said that killing a state trooper would be considered an assassination and hoped it would spark change in the US Government, although he was never specific about what changes were needed.
Frein led the police and the FBI on a 48 day manhunt through the Pocono Mountains. Peoples’ lives were upended during this time as schools were closed during the manhunt and the hunting season was postponed in certain areas during the manhunt. Also, a man who resembled the fugitive was stopped by police numerous times and at one time had a rifle pointed at him and forced down to the ground.
Eric Frein was finally captured at an abandoned resort and airport outside of a hangar about thirty miles from the incident. A jury from another county was brought in for the trial because it was thought that he wouldn’t be able to get a fair trial otherwise. Frein was brought up on a number of charges and prosecutors sought the death penalty if convicted.
The three week trial began on April 4th 2017 and ended on April 19th when the jury deliberated for over five hours and returned with a guilty verdict on all twelve charges against Eric Frein. He was sentenced to death by lethal injection but may take many years to fulfill, especially since Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolfe has placed a moratorium on state executions. There hasn’t been a death penalty carried out in Pennsylvania since 1999 and only three carried out since the Supreme Court reinstated the death penalty in 1976.