Poconos Coal

Penalty phase starts in Eric Frein trial

VIDEO: Eric Frein sentencing phase...

MILFORD, Pa. - The defense and prosecution in the Eric Frein trial made opening statements Thursday as the penalty phase of the trial got underway.

Eric Frein was convicted Wednesday of all 12 charges he faced more than two years after targeting the state police in a late-night sniper attack.

The focus now shifts to the impact of Frein's crimes. He killed Cpl. Bryon Dickson, a 38-year-old Marine veteran, and critically wounded Trooper Alex Douglass, who was shot as he came to the aid of his mortally wounded comrade and suffers from a range of health problems.

Prosecutors will ask the same jury that convicted Frein to send him to death row.

The defense started saying there is more to Eric Frein than meets the eye and jurors will see the more human side by calling family, friends, and others.

The prosecution countered, telling jurors the evidence presented in the trial is the real Eric Frein.

Pike County First Assistant District Attorney Bruce DeSarro told jurors Frein is the person who planned an ambush attack on September 2014 and left a trail of devastation behind for Corporal Bryon Dickson's family, friends and the community.

Tiffany Dickson, Bryon Dickson’s widow, then took the stand and gave emotional testimony about her life before her husband was gunned down by Frein and the two years after.

She said for the first year she and her sons didn't even live at home as after the funeral it seemed like there was an event for her or the children every week.

Dickson recalled how she broke down in tears at the unveiling of the Bryon Dickson exit on I-84 in 2015.

She then spoke about their boys who were 5 and 7 at the time Corporal Dickson died.

She says both are failing in school and often wake up at night distraught.

Dickson remarked how one son wakes up at night often telling her, "I just want to die. Can we die together? I want to see daddy."

When asked about her own life, Tiffany Dickson told the jury, “There is no Tiffany Dickson. I'm gone. I'm the widow of the slain trooper, or just the widow.”

Dickson's last comments to the jury concerned how she’s so busy she just wants to go to dinner and a movie and take a break. She concluded by saying her husband used to be that break.

Testimony continues Friday.


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