Judge refuses to overturn death sentence of police sniper

FILE- In this Jan. 5, 2015, file photo, Eric Frein, left, is led from the Pike County Courthouse after his preliminary hearing in Milford, Pa. (AP Photo/David Kidwell, File)

MILFORD, Pa. (AP) – A judge has rejected a motion to overturn the death sentence of a sniper who killed a Pennsylvania state trooper and wounded another outside their barracks.

Michael Weinstein, one of the attorneys for 34-year-old Eric Frein, says Monday’s ruling by a Pike County judge was “anticipated” and that the case will likely eventually wind up before the state Supreme Court.

The defense motion was the first since Frein was convicted last month in the 2014 murder of Cpl. Bryon Dickson II outside the Blooming Grove barracks. Trooper Alex Douglass was also wounded by Frein, who was caught after a 48-day manhunt.

Frein’s attorneys argued that emotional testimony by Dickson’s widow unfairly overrode any “logical reasoned moral decision the jury could make” to spare Frein’s life.

District Attorney Ray Tonkin praised Monday’s ruling.

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