On Sept. 12, 2014, two Pennsylvania state troopers were ambushed at a Pennsylvania State Police Barracks, in Blooming Grove, Pa. One officer, Cpl. Bryon Dickson, was shot and killed outside of the barracks, while a second officer, Alex T. Douglass, was shot and wounded outside of the barracks.
The Pennsylvania State Police, and the Feds, were then led on a 48-day man hunt, in search of the person who had fired upon the State Police Barracks. After several weeks of searching, the police had a number of new pieces of evidence; including guns, ammunition, food, clothing, campsites, used diapers, and homemade explosives, which led to the finding of suspect Eric Frein and also added several additional charges.
On Oct. 30, a group of 13 U.S. Marshals were running a routine sweep through the woods when they came across an abandoned airport hangar near Tannersville, Pa. Frein was taken by surprise in a field near the airport hangar and was unarmed at the time of detection. Frein obeyed orders of the Marshals, as he laid on his hands and knees, and told them his name, “Matthew Eric Frein.”
He laid on the ground, with his head up at the officers, watching them as they walked towards him. As a Law Enforcement Officer, you do not want a fugitive watching you as you approach them, for they may anticipate that officers next move. Frein was told to put his head on the ground. While he did this, it is said, he got scrapes on his nose and face. Frein was locked in the handcuffs of his victim – Cpl. Byron Dickson – then taken away in his patrol car and finally was taken to the Blooming Grove Police Barracks.
After being taken to Blooming Grove, Criminal Defense Attorney, James Swertz, called and arrived at the Blooming Grove Barracks, just 3-1/2 hours after being arrested. Swertz says, “I was told, ‘He’s an adult and has not asked for a lawyer.'”
“I called and I tried to get in to see him. I invoked his right to counsel, I was told that I would not be given access to Eric, and that Eric would not be told that a lawyer was trying to see him.”
On Friday, Oct. 31, he appeared in Court, in front of a Pike’s County Judge. When the judge asked Frein if he understood the charges against him (murder in the first degree, homicide of a law enforcement officer, attempted murder in the first degree, attempted homicide of a law enforcement officer, assault of a law enforcement officer, possession of weapons of mass destruction, discharging a firearm into an occupied structure, possession of an instrument of crime, reckless endangerment, possession of a weapon of mass destruction) to which he firmly responded, “Yes I do.” District Attorney Raymond Tonkin states that prosecutors plan to seek the death penalty.