The defense team for a cop killer sentenced to death last month said emotional testimony from the slain officer’s widow clouded jurors’ judgement.
Attorneys for Eric Frein, the anti-government survivalist convicted last month of gunning down Cpl. Bryon Dickson II and wounding Trooper Alex Douglass during a September 2014 shift change at the Blooming Grove barracks in northeastern Pennsylvania, filed a motion Wednesday in Pike County court requesting a new sentencing hearing.
In court documents, Frein’s attorneys claimed Tiffany Dickson’s testimony undermined any “logical reasoned moral decision the jury could make” to instead impose life imprisonment, the Associated Press reported Thursday.
During last month’s hearing, the defense cast the gunman’s father, Eugene Michael “Mike” Frein, as an abusive, domineering man who fostered his son’s anti-government views.
Prosecutors mocked the characterization and called it a poor deflection from the gunman’s “wickedness of heart” in what Pike County District Attorney Ray Tonkin described as a calculated and remorseless killing.
Jurors found Frein guilty on April 20 of murder, attempted murder, aggravated assault of a law enforcement officer, terrorism, possessing weapons of mass destruction, possessing an instrument of crime, recklessly endangering others and firing a gun into an occupied structure.
Following the sentencing hearing, Frein’s attorneys expressed disappointment and shock over the jury’s decision and promised to appeal.