Survivalist sentenced to death for murder of PA state trooper

MILFORD, Pa., April 26 (Reuters) - A survivalist convicted of killing a Pennsylvania state trooper in a 2014 sniper attack that launched a massive manhunt was sentenced to death on Wednesday by jurors.

The Pike County jury deliberated for about five hours before returning the verdict in the penalty phase of Eric Frein's trial.

"Tonight full justice was delivered!!" District Attorney Ray Tonkin wrote on Twitter after the jury sentenced Frein to die.

Frein showed no emotion as the death sentence was read in court. One of his attorneys William Ruzzo said he planned to appeal, CNN reported.

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Pennsylvania State Police ambush - Eric Frein
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Pennsylvania State Police ambush - Eric Frein
Eric Frein is escorted to a preliminary hearing on Monday, Jan. 5, 2015 at the Pike County Courthouse in Milford, Pa. Frein, 31, of Canadensis, is the lone suspect in the Sept. 12, 2014 shooting outside the Blooming Grove state police barracks in Pike County that killed Cpl. Bryon Dickson and seriously wounded Trooper Alex Douglass. Police say Frein led law enforcement on a 48-day manhunt through the Pocono woods before U.S. marshals captured him Oct. 30 near an abandoned airplane hangar. (Harry Fisher/Allentown Morning Call/TNS via Getty Images)
CRESCO, PA - OCTOBER 31: Scott Malkowski, Task Force Commander, US Marshals Service, Special Operations Group, talks with members of the media while he explains how Eric Matthew was captured on Thursday night, on October 31, 2014 in Cresco, Pennsylvania. Frein, a suspected cop killer, was taken into custody from a Pennsylvania airport hangar after a seven-week manhunt. (Photo by Kena Betancur/Getty Images)
First look inside abandoned hangar where Eric Frein hid from police: The search for suspected cop killer Eric Frein is over, but there are still questions about how he was able to stay on the run for so long. (WNEP-TV)
Accused cop killer Eric Frein's mug shot taken after his Thursday night arrest. (Pike County Jail)
First look inside abandoned hangar where Eric Frein hid from police: The search for suspected cop killer Eric Frein is over, but there are still questions about how he was able to stay on the run for so long. (WNEP-TV)
First look inside abandoned hangar where Eric Frein hid from police: The search for suspected cop killer Eric Frein is over, but there are still questions about how he was able to stay on the run for so long. (WNEP-TV)
Pennsylvania State Police say they remain confident that Eric Frein, the man suspected of killing a trooper in an ambush attack and injuring another, is still in the general search area.
First look inside abandoned hangar where Eric Frein hid from police: The search for suspected cop killer Eric Frein is over, but there are still questions about how he was able to stay on the run for so long. (WNEP-TV)
MILFORD, PA - OCTOBER 31: Eric Frein arrives for arraignment to court on October 31, 2014 in Milford, Pennsylvania. Frein, a suspected cop killer, was taken into custody from a Pennsylvania airport hangar after a seven-week manhunt. (Photo by Kena Betancur/Getty Images)
First look inside abandoned hangar where Eric Frein hid from police: The search for suspected cop killer Eric Frein is over, but there are still questions about how he was able to stay on the run for so long. (WNEP-TV)
First look inside abandoned hangar where Eric Frein hid from police: The search for suspected cop killer Eric Frein is over, but there are still questions about how he was able to stay on the run for so long. (WNEP-TV)
First look inside abandoned hangar where Eric Frein hid from police: The search for suspected cop killer Eric Frein is over, but there are still questions about how he was able to stay on the run for so long. (WNEP-TV)
First look inside abandoned hangar where Eric Frein hid from police: The search for suspected cop killer Eric Frein is over, but there are still questions about how he was able to stay on the run for so long. (WNEP-TV)
First look inside abandoned hangar where Eric Frein hid from police: The search for suspected cop killer Eric Frein is over, but there are still questions about how he was able to stay on the run for so long. (WNEP-TV)
Eric Frein is escorted to his arraignment in the Pike County Courthouse on Friday, Oct. 31, 2014 in Milord, Pa. (Harry Fisher/Allentown Morning Call/MCT via Getty Images)
CRESCO, PA - OCTOBER 31: A Pocono Police car sits on the route to the hangar where Eric Matthew was captured on Thursday night, on October 31, 2014 in Cresco, Pennsylvania. Frein, a suspected cop killer, was taken into custody from a Pennsylvania airport hangar after a seven-week manhunt. (Photo by Kena Betancur/Getty Images)
MILFORD, PA - OCTOBER 31: Eric Frein arrives for arraignment to court on October 31, 2014 in Milford, Pennsylvania. Frein, a suspected cop killer, was taken into custody from a Pennsylvania airport hangar after a seven-week manhunt. (Photo by Kena Betancur/Getty Images)
CRESCO, PA - OCTOBER 31: Scott Malkowski, Task Force Commander, US Marshals Service, Special Operations Group, show the map of the operation in which they captured Eric Matthew Frein on Thursday night while he talks with members of the media on October 31, 2014 in Cresco, Pennsylvania. Frein, a suspected cop killer, was taken into custody from a Pennsylvania airport hangar after a seven-week manhunt. (Photo by Kena Betancur/Getty Images)
MILFORD, PA - OCTOBER 31: A Pennsylvania State Police SWAT officer stands by as Eric Frein arrives at the Pike County Courthouse for his arraignment on October 31, 2014 in Milford, Pennsylvania. Frein, a suspected cop killer, was taken into custody from a Pennsylvania airport hangar after a seven-week manhunt. (Photo by Kena Betancur/Getty Images)
CRESCO, PA - OCTOBER 31: Scott Malkowski, Task Force Commander, US Marshals Service, Special Operations Group, show the map of the operation in which they captured Eric Matthew Frein on Thursday night while he talks with members of the media on October 31, 2014 in Cresco, Pennsylvania. Frein, a suspected cop killer, was taken into custody from a Pennsylvania airport hangar after a seven-week manhunt. (Photo by Kena Betancur/Getty Images)
MILFORD, PA - OCTOBER 31: Pennsylvania State Police SWAT officers arrive at the Pike County Courthouse for Eric Frein's arraignment on October 31, 2014 in Milford, Pennsylvania. Frein, a suspected cop killer, was taken into custody from a Pennsylvania airport hangar after a seven-week manhunt. (Photo by Kena Betancur/Getty Images)
CRESCO, PA - OCTOBER 31: A Pocono Police car sits on the route to the hangar where Eric Matthew was captured on Thursday night, on October 31, 2014 in Cresco, Pennsylvania. Frein, a suspected cop killer, was taken into custody from a Pennsylvania airport hangar after a seven-week manhunt. (Photo by Kena Betancur/Getty Images)
MILFORD, PA - OCTOBER 31: Lt. Col. George Bivens of the state police attends a press conference in the front of the court house after Eric Frein makes first court appearance on October 31, 2014 in Milford, Pennsylvania. Frein, a suspected cop killer, was taken into custody from a Pennsylvania airport hangar after a seven-week manhunt. (Photo by Kena Betancur/Getty Images)
MILFORD, PA - OCTOBER 31: Lt. Col. George Bivens of the state police speaks at a press conference in the front of the court house after Eric Frein makes first court appearance on October 31, 2014 in Milford, Pennsylvania. Frein, a suspected cop killer, was taken into custody from a Pennsylvania airport hangar after a seven-week manhunt. (Photo by Kena Betancur/Getty Images)
CRESCO, PA - OCTOBER 31: Scott Malkowski, Task Force Commander, US Marshals Service, Special Operations Group, gestures as he explain how Eric Matthew reacts when he was captured on Thursday night, while he talks with members of the media on October 31, 2014 in Cresco, Pennsylvania. Frein, a suspected cop killer, was taken into custody from a Pennsylvania airport hangar after a seven-week manhunt. (Photo by Kena Betancur/Getty Images)
Pike County District Attorney Raymond Tonkin insisted Thursday evening that he would seek the death penalty against Frein. (CNN)
Pennsylvania State Police Commissioner Frank Noonan insisted that Frein was captured not because he was tired, but "because he was caught -- he had no choice." (CNN)
UNSPECIFIED - UNDATED: In this handout provided by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Eric Matthew Frein, 31, poses on an unspecified date and location. Eric Frein is being sought in the killing of State Trooper Bryon Dickson. (Photo by Federal Bureau of Investigation via Getty Images)
Pennsylvania State Police released images Wednesday of what they believe ambush suspect Eric Frein might look like now.
Pennsylvania State Police released images Wednesday of what they believe ambush suspect Eric Frein might look like now.
The Inn at Buck Hill, an abandoned Pocono Mountains resort that is being scoured by investigators as they hunt for accused cop killer Eric Frein. (Pennsylvania State Police)
One of the many caves search teams are tasked with clearing as they hunt down the wanted man. (Pennsylvania State Police)
Eric Frein is escorted to a preliminary hearing on Monday, Jan. 5, 2015 at the Pike County Courthouse in Milford, Pa. Frein, 31, of Canadensis, is the lone suspect in the Sept. 12, 2014 shooting outside the Blooming Grove state police barracks in Pike County that killed Cpl. Bryon Dickson and seriously wounded Trooper Alex Douglass. Police say Frein led law enforcement on a 48-day manhunt through the Pocono woods before U.S. marshals captured him Oct. 30 near an abandoned airplane hangar. (Harry Fisher/Allentown Morning Call/TNS via Getty Images)
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"I'm surprised by it," he told reporters after the verdict. "But they're the jury ... we work within the system, and they made their decision."

The same jury last week convicted Frein, 33, of first-degree murder of a law enforcement officer for the fatal shooting of Corporal Bryon Dickson II, 38, outside the Blooming Grove barracks.

Frein, who evaded capture for weeks following the attack, was also convicted of other charges, including terrorism and the attempted murder of Trooper Alex Douglass, 34, who was shot and critically wounded as he rushed to Dickson's aid.

Frein is a survivalist and at trial prosecutors told jurors that the sniper attack was aimed at sparking a "revolution" against the U.S. government.

In closing arguments in the trial's death penalty phase on Wednesday, Ray Tonkin, the Pike County district attorney, repeatedly referred to Frein as "that murderer over there" and said the defendant methodically planned the ambush.

Tonkin also played a recorded jailhouse telephone conversation in which Frein can be heard telling his mother how he wanted to sell his story to the media. Frein can be heard repeatedly laughing on the recording.

Michael Weinstein, the lead defense lawyer, said Frein was the victim of a dysfunctional family who was influenced by anti-police views held by his father, a retired Army major.

After the shooting, Frein eluded a 48-day manhunt through the dense forests of the Pocono Mountains, about 100 miles north of Philadelphia.

The $11 million search, which put the community on edge for weeks, ended when he was captured by U.S. marshals outside an abandoned airplane hangar near Tannersville, Pennsylvania.

(Reporting by Joe McDonald in Milford, Pennsylvania and Dan Whitcomb in Los Angeles; Editing by Barbara Goldberg and Peter Cooney)

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