Trooper mur­der panel to come from Ch­esco

An or­der by the state Supreme Court de­clared Ch­ester County as the site from which the jurors will be cho­sen

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - FRONT PAGE - By Michael P. Rel­la­han mrel­la­han@21st-cen­tu­ry­ @Ch­escoCourtNews on Twit­ter To con­tact staff writer Michael P. Rel­la­han call 610-696-1544.

WEST CH­ESTER >> A panel of Ch­ester County res­i­dents will be cho­sen next year to travel to Pike County in north­east­ern Penn­syl­va­nia to hear the trial of a man ac­cused in the 2014 am­bush mur­der of a state po­lice trooper.

A judge has set a spring 2017 trial date for Eric Frein, the sus­pect who eluded po­lice across the area for weeks be­fore be­ing cap­tured in con­nec­tion with the shoot­ing death of Cpl. Bryon Dick­son II.

Pike County Judge Gregory Che­lak had al­ready ruled that the case would be heard by an out-of-county jury, but that the trial it­self would be held at the county court­house in Mil­ford. Pike County is be­tween Scran­ton and the Penn­syl­va­nia-New Jer­sey bor­der along In­ter­state 84.

An or­der by the state Supreme Court de­clared Ch­ester County as the site from which the jurors will be cho­sen. The an­nounce­ment was made Aug. 22.

Ar­range­ments are cur­rently un­der­way to as­sist Pike County court of­fi­cials to select the panel, said county Sher­iff Carolyn “Bunny” Welsh Wed­nes­day. The process is sched­uled to be­gin in March. There is no in­for­ma­tion at this time as to how many po­ten­tial jurors would be sum­moned for the se­lec­tion process, which is ex­pected to take about one week be­cause of the na­ture of the case, or how long the trial it­self is sched­uled to take.

Frein, 33, is fac­ing the death penalty for the fa­tal shoot­ing of Dick­son and the wound­ing of an­other trooper out­side Bloom­ing Grove in Septem­ber 2014.

He led po­lice on a tense 48-day man­hunt across Pike and Mon­roe coun­ties be­fore U.S. mar­shals caught him about 30 miles from the shoot­ing scene. Frein has pleaded not guilty.

Court doc­u­ments say Frein spoke of want­ing to start a revo­lu­tion in a let­ter to his par­ents and called Dick­son’s slay­ing an “as­sas­si­na­tion” dur­ing a po­lice in­ter­view.

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