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
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.