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Prosecutor rests case against Eric Frein in fatal trooper ambush

Written by The Associated Press | Apr 18, 2017 12:26 PM
Eric_frein_preliminary.jpg

Photo by AP Photo/David Kidwell)

(Milford, PA) -- Prosecutors rested their case Tuesday against an anti-government survivalist charged with ambushing two troopers at a Pennsylvania state police barracks, having presented more than 500 exhibits that helped tie him to the deadly late-night attack.

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. Closing arguments were scheduled for Wednesday morning.

Pike County District Attorney Ray 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 northeastern Pennsylvania on Sept. 12, 2014. Cpl. Bryon Dickson II, a married father of two, died in the ambush. A second trooper, Alex Douglass, was shot as he tried to help Dickson and was left with debilitating injuries.

The prosecution wrapped its case by showing autopsy photos to the jury, as well as the bulletproof vest that Dickson was wearing when he was shot with a sniper's rifle. A warning label inside the vest said it's not intended to protect against rifle fire.

A pathologist who conducted the autopsy on Dickson told the jury that either of the bullets that struck him would have been fatal.

Frein eluded capture for nearly seven weeks before U.S. marshals found him outside an abandoned airplane hangar more than 20 miles from the shooting scene. He wrote a letter to his parents while on the run in which he talked about sparking a revolution.

This article has been updated. A previous version appears below: 

(Milford) -- The prosecution has rested its case against an anti-government survivalist charged with ambushing two troopers at a Pennsylvania state police barracks.

Eric Frein faces a potential death sentence if a jury convicts him in the 2014 attack that killed Cpl. Bryon Dickson and critically wounded a second trooper. He led police on a 48-day manhunt before his capture in northeastern Pennsylvania.

Jurors saw autopsy photos this morning, as well as the bulletproof vest that Dickson was wearing when he was killed by a rifle bullet. A warning label inside the vest says it's not intended to protect against rifle fire.

After the prosecution finished its case, the defense called no witnesses and presented no evidence.

Closing arguments are set for tomorrow.

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