MILFORD - Eric Frein was taken to Lehigh Valley Hospital-Pocono, Thursday morning, forcing a short delay in his trial in Pike County Court, The Pocono Record reported.
Pike County District Attorney Ray Tonkin reported that the trial would resume at 1:30 p.m., Thursday. The trial was delayed due to an accident that landed Frein in the hospital.
Defense attorney Michael Weinstein said Frein was taken to the hospital around 8 a.m.Eric Frein’s parents say they were told Frein fell while brushing his teeth and hit his head. Michael and Deborah Frein have been attending the trial and spoke to reporters outside the courthouse.
This is the third day of his jury trial, stemming from charges of fatally shooting one trooper and wounding another in a sniper attack outside the state police Blooming Grove barracks in 2014.
[Editor’s note: The latest available report from the trial- in time for press deadline, from Wednesday afternoon, April 5, follows. Regular updates are being posted at least daily during the trial, at The News Eagle’s web site, www.neagle.com. Most of our reports are being filed by Andrew Scott, reporter for The Pocono Record, which is a sister paper to The News Eagle under Gatehouse Media.]
(WEDNESDAY APRIL 5) - Sitting with family in the courtroom Wednesday, Tiffany Dickson broke into tears when the prosecution showed the jury a picture of the man with whom she had shared 10 years of marriage and two children.
Her Facebook page shows a Caribbean vacation picture of her, husband Bryon Dickson II, a Pennsylvania state police corporal, and their two young sons. All are smiling in that picture.
The picture shown in court on the second day of the trial of Eric Frein, the man charged with fatally shooting Bryon Dickson and wounding Alex Douglass in a Sept. 12, 2014 sniper attack outside state police Blooming Grove barracks, is one by which Dickson's loved ones would rather not remember him.
It shows Dickson lying dead on his back, with a bullet hole in his chest and blood in his mouth and on the left side of his face.
Fellow troopers and ambulance personnel had tried unsuccessfully to save his life after he'd taken one bullet through the lung and another through the spinal cord between his shoulders. The vest he was wearing at the time had not been designed to protect him against .308-caliber bullets fired from a rifle.
The sniper, believed to be Frein, positioned himself in the woods across Route 402 from the state police barracks and shot Dickson, who at the time was leaving work after the 3-to-11 p.m. shift. Dickson was shot as he was exiting the barracks and collapsed to the ground just outside the glass doors.
The sniper then wounded Douglass as Douglass, who was coming on to work the midnight shift and spotted Dickson lying on the ground, tried to help Dickson. Douglass managed to crawl into the lobby.
Testifying Wednesday were troopers who were in the barracks that night.
"Myself and a number of other people were present when I heard what sounded like a gunshot, like you'd hear on the shooting range," said Trooper William Fells, who likewise was at the end of his shift that night and happened to be flipping through TV channels at the time. "I looked around. I made eye contact with (fellow trooper Benjamin Jones), the only other person in the room who appeared to have heard that noise."
At first, no one connected that sound with Dickson or Douglass having been shot. That's why none of the troopers believed it at first when dispatchers Nicole Palmer and Susan Donahue, who had been in the communications room looking out onto the lobby/front entrance area when both men were shot, came and told them that's exactly what had just happened, Fells said.
Upon hearing this, some of the troopers at first thought Dickson had been shot while performing a traffic stop on his way home from work and that Douglass had then been shot while going to help him, according to testimony from Fells and others. Troopers quickly learned this wasn't the case upon seeing their fallen comrades right there at the barracks.
Troopers respond to attack
Reacting quickly to what appeared to be a sniper attack, troopers propped open the inner door to the lobby, aiming a rifle at the front entrance, and pulled the wounded Douglass into the hallway beyond the inner door. Troopers then drove a police SUV around to the front entrance, using the SUV as a shield against any further sniper fire, and carried the dying Dickson into the building.
Troopers locked down the barracks, closing all blinds in windows facing Route 402 and shutting off all unnecessary lights to make it harder for any snipers outside to see into the building, while standing guard with guns pointed from inside at all entrances. Ambulances were told to stage at a location near the barracks until it was deemed safe for them to come in.
Upon arrival, ambulance personnel were escorted in through the garage entrance by armed troopers, according to testimony.
Ambulance personnel and troopers tried unsuccessfully to save Dickson's life. One trooper commented how Dickson's death reminded him of what had happened to Trooper Joshua Miller, who was fatally shot while helping rescue a 9-year-old boy kidnapped by his father at the end of a chase that ended on Route 611 in Coolbaugh Township in 2009.
With Dickson gone, efforts were then focused fully on Douglass.
Troopers took position on an embankment outside the building, near the garage entrance, and lay down cover fire to discourage any snipers still in the woods across the road while Douglass was loaded safely onto the ambulance backed up to the garage entrance. Douglass was then driven to a medical helicopter landing site and flown to Community Medical Center in Scranton, where he was treated for his wounds.
An armored vehicle was then called in to take troopers and dispatchers from the barracks to an incident command post set up at a nearby church. Dickson's body was later taken to the Coroner's Office after being photographed along with other evidence at the crime scene.
State police investigators testified to processing the scene in the hours following the shootings and finding bullets at the barracks building and spent shell casings in the woods across Route 402. Future testimony is expected on details about the ensuing 48-day manhunt that eventually led to Frein's capture.