Accused Cop Killer Frein Arraigned
MILFORD — A train of Pennsylvania State Police (PSP) squad cars, lights flashing, spanning a full block, solemnly approached Pike County Courthouse, in Milford Borough, depositing accused cop killer Eric Matthew Frein, flanked by a phalanx of troopers and Pike County Sheriff Phil Bueki.
An armored PSP vehicle filled with heavily armed troopers with automatic rifles accompanied the train.
Frein was at the courthouse on Friday morning for his arraignment before District Magistrate Shannon L. Muir. Pike County District Attorney Ray Tonkin said that he selected the courthouse instead of Muir’s court in order to accommodate the large number of press and media people covering the arraignment.
Muir set Frein’s preliminary hearing at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, November 12, at Muir’s court at 106 Shook Road in Palmyra Township. With no bail, Frein was remanded to Pike County Correctional Facility in Lords Valley.
At the arraignment, Muir read the following Amended Criminal Complaint Affidavit, listing the following charges:
• Murder, first degree (felony), for intentionally shooting PSP Cpl. Byron Dickson twice with a .308 caliber rifle;
• Criminal Attempt to Murder, first degree (felony), for shooting Trooper Alex. T. Douglass in the pelvic region and shooting at PCO Nicole Palmer as she attempted to aid Dickson;
• Criminal Homicide of a Law Enforcement Officer (felony), for intentionally shooting and killing Dickson and shooting Douglass, creating serious bodily injury;
• Assault of a Law Enforcement Officer first degree (felony), for shooting Douglass while he was performing duties, namely coming to the aid of Dickson;
• Firing a Weapon into an Occupied Structure, third degree felony, for discharging four shots from a .308 rifle into a building housing police officers and other employees;
• Possession of Weapons of Mass Destruction second degree (felony), for allegedly recklessly possessing or manufacturing a weapon (two bombs);
• Possession of Instruments of Crime first degree (misdemeanor), for using a .308 rifle;
• Reckless Endangerment second degree (misdemeanor), for firing into the lobby of the PSP Barracks in an area where Palmer was standing;
Muir said that Frein faces a minimum of a life sentence for the murder first degree charge, but DA Tonkin has an option to ask for the death sentence;
Muir gave Frein the option to retain his own attorney or request a public defender. If Frein wants a public defender, he must submit a written request;
As police and deputies escorted Frein into the courthouse and out, members of the press, media, and public catcalled Frein, but cheered law enforcement officers.
Tonkin convened a press conference after the arraignment in front of the courthouse. He said, “My name is Ray Tonkin, District Attorney of Pike County. I want to begin by commending law enforcement – the Pennsylvania State Police, the FBI, the ATF, U.S. Marshall’s Service, Pennsylvania municipal police officers, and the other law enforcement officers from multiple jurisdictions outside of Pennsylvania that have worked without rest to successfully apprehend the suspect, Frein. They are to be commended for their professionalism, persistence, and the resources that were all required to bring Mr. Frein into custody, alive.
“I want to remind everyone that while Eric Frein is now in custody, the investigation is still ongoing. The Pennsylvania State Police, the FBI, and ATF will continue the investigation so we can build the best case in order to achieve justice on behalf of Cpl. Byron Dickson, Trooper Alex Douglass, and their families.
“We have now started to find answers on behalf of the families of Dickson, Douglass, and the entire Pennsylvania State Police family. They have suffered an unimaginable harm of unspeakable proportions. They will never be the same, but today everyone can find some comfort as we take these next steps toward justice.”
PSP Deputy Commissioner of Operations Lt. Col. George Bivens said that the continuing investigation would include mapping out Frein’s whereabouts during the manhunt. He believes Frein spent time in the hanger at the Birchwood-Pocono Airfield in Tannersville, Pennsylvania, but also was out in the woods and stayed in unoccupied cabins.
Bivens said, “Troopers volunteered from all over the state and moral was high. They never lost faith and got the job done.” He estimated the cost of the manhunt to Pennsylvania at $10 million. The bruise and cut on Frein’s face occurred when he was running in the woods prior to his capture, based on Frein’s statements, noted Bivens. Bivens said he was grateful no one was seriously injured during the manhunt, including Frein, since the potential for further damage besides the two shootings was great.
Sen. Lisa Baker Issues Statement on Frein Apprehension
MILFORD — State Senator Lisa Baker, R-20, issued the following statement regarding the arrest of accused state trooper killer Eric Matthew Frein:
“For the residents, merchants, and local officials in the area, the capture puts an end to the fear, anxiety, and disruption that come from a suspected killer on the loose. We are grateful for the concerted effort made by so many dedicated law enforcement officials in this extended search under difficult circumstances. Now there is hope across the community that justice will be served for this horrendous crime. Our thoughts and prayers remain with Corporal Dickson, Trooper Douglass, and their families, that they will soon find healing, comfort, and peace.”
Baker’s northeastern Pennsylvania Senate district includes all of Pike County and she’s a member of the Senate’s Veterans Affairs & Emergency Preparedness Committee.
Marino Applauds Law Enforcement in Capture of Frein
Cogan Station, PA—Congressman Tom Marino, PA-10, Lycoming County issued the following statement regarding the capture of Eric Frein, the accused gunman who ambushed two Pennsylvania State Troopers just months ago:
“I was relieved to hear that our law enforcement officers had captured Frein yesterday evening. But it is an even bigger relief for the families of Wayne and Pike counties. I have said it before and I will say it again, our state and local law enforcement agencies are some of the best in the country. At every point in my career I have had a chance to work with various agencies from the FBI, ATF, U.S. Marshalls, Pennsylvania State Police, local police departments and sheriff’s offices – and I have the up most respect for their work and selfless actions in protecting our communities. They pursued Frein with vigor and used every resource available to them. From initiating and maintaining an effective public communications system to coordination of agencies at every level and locality, they worked tirelessly and it made all the difference. The people of Pennsylvania and the 10th Congressional District should join me in thanking them for their hard work.
Mr. Frein has now been apprehended which means the legal process can. I remain appalled by such a senseless and heinous attack but have full confidence that the justice system will find Frein guilty and prosecute him to the fullest extent possible. I applaud the prosecutors for seeking the death penalty.
Lastly I think our children are now safer on this Halloween, particularly in that area, and we should all work together to keep each other safe. My thoughts and prayers are still with the families of our fallen troopers but I hope this is but one step in their healing – knowing justice will be served.”
Brown Thanks Law Enforcement, Community During Manhunt
EAST STROUDSBURG – Rep. Rosemary Brown (R-Monroe/Pike) today issued the following statement upon the capture of accused cop killer Eric Frein on Oct. 30 in Monroe County:
“Our extensive network of law enforcement personnel deserves a tremendous amount of praise and thanks for bringing this accused cop killer to justice. I am especially pleased that he was captured in a peaceful manner with no further violence.
“In addition, I want to express my personal appreciation to everyone in Monroe and Pike County – residents, businesses, schools and organizations – for their patience, cooperation and courage as the manhunt continued during the past seven weeks and interfered with their daily lives. The way that our neighbors came together during this crisis and supported our law enforcement makes me very proud to be a part of this community.
“Now, as the criminal justice system takes over, my thoughts and prayers remain with the Dickson and Douglass families, and the larger state police community. I hope that last night’s action in some way brings peace to them.”
Peifer Comments On Frein’s Capture
HONESDALE – Rep. Mike Peifer (R-Monroe/Pike/Wayne) issued the following statement in response to the capture of Eric Frein:
“It is a great day in the Pocono region. After nearly seven weeks of uncertainty, fear and frustration, the people of Monroe and Pike counties are waking up this morning knowing that this evil man has been captured and will soon be brought to justice.
“I want to commend everyone in the law enforcement community for their diligence and determination in finding Frein. I thank our citizens for their vigilance and their patience during this difficult time, and a special thanks goes out to all of the nonprofit organizations and volunteers who supported police during this prolonged search.
“It is my hope that we can now begin the healing process and restore that sense of safety and security we all took for granted before this senseless act occurred. My prayers remain with the family of Corporal Bryon Dickson and with Trooper Alex Douglass and his family as well.”
Frein Captured; Arraignment Pending
Accused cop killer Eric Frein, 31-year-old Canadensis, Pennsylvania resident, was surprised, cornered, and arrested without incident at 6 p.m. on Oct. 30 by an abandoned Birchwood-Pocono Airpark hangar in Tannersville (Monroe County) by U.S. Marshal’s Service officers.
After a six-week intensive manhunt, involving many law enforcement agencies and during which the Federal Bureau of Investigation placed Frein among the 10 most wanted men in country, Marshall’s Service officers closed in on Frein based on tips of a recent sighting.
The officers confronted Frein as he was walking towards the hangar without a rifle. Realizing that he was surrounded, Frein immediately obeyed when one of the officers commanded him to drop to his knees and raise his hands, according to Pennsylvania State Police Commissioner Frank Noonan. A search of the hangar later yielded the rifle that law enforcement officers suspect Frein used to ambush state troopers and a handgun.
Pike County District Attorney Ray Tonkin, who is prosecuting the case, said that his office is seeking the death penalty, warranted by the two most serious charges, capital crimes of 1st Degree Murder and Homicide of a Law Enforcement Officer.
Other charges are Attempted Murder, Discharge of a Firearm into an Occupied Building, Possession of Weapons of Mass Destruction, and Reckless Endangerment.
At a press conference held at Pike County Training Center on Route 739 in Lords Valley at 11 p.m. on Oct. 30, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett thanked law enforcement teams and the public who supported them. He said, “Let me assure you that justice will be served.”
Corbett and law enforcement officials spoke about the capture and arrest as the first steps toward justice and bringing closure to families of victims: Blooming Grove State Police Barracks’ Corporal Bryon Dickson II, who was killed, and Trooper Alex T. Douglas, who was critically wounded in the hip and pelvic area. Noonan said that Douglas is doing better.
Corbett, Noonan, and ranking law enforcement officers recommended that State Police use Dickson’s handcuffs on Frein. When Marshals handed over Frein to Blooming Grove Barracks officers, the officer who spoke at Dickson’s funeral shackled Frein in Dickson’s handcuffs and troopers placed Frein in Dickson’s squad car.
Tonkin said that after arraignment by a local district justice, Frein would be remanded to Pike County Correctional Facilities, pending further court judicial action.