The parents of Eric Frein, the Monroe County man convicted of killing a state police trooper and wounding another in a sniper attack at the Blooming Grove barracks, are suing for the return of a small arsenal of weapons seized during a search of their Canadensis home in 2014.
The suit, filed in federal court on Wednesday by Comerford Law in Scranton on behalf of Eugene and Deborah Frein, claims the state police and prosecutors have refused requests to return 19 pistols, 25 rifles, two shotguns, ammunition, and laptops, among other items, taken while police executed a search warrant on Sept. 16, 2014 at a Seneca Lane address.
Among the guns in the arsenal are a Russian Makarov, a Bulgarian Makarov and an Israeli Hi Power firearm. Frein was a member of the Pocono Mountain High School rifle team, where he was a top scorer.
According to the suit, the weapons are the property of Frein’s parents, not Frein, and have no evidentiary value because they were not used as evidence at his trial in the Pike County Courthouse in Milford.
A jury convicted Frein of first-degree murder and sentenced him to death for killing Corporal Bryon Dickson II, 38, and shooting Trooper Alex Douglass during a shift change at the barracks.
Frein, a survivalist, slipped into the dense woods along the border of Pike and Monroe counties after the shooting, eluding a 48-day manhunt that cost $11 million and put communities in Monroe County on edge for weeks.
The search ended when Frein was captured by U.S. marshals outside an abandoned airplane hangar in Pocono Township at the Birchwood-Pocono Airpark near Tannersville.
Frein, now 37, is scheduled to be executed June 22 but will not receive a lethal injection then because of Gov. Tom Wolf’s death penalty moratorium in 2015.
At the murder trial, Pike County District Attorney Ray Tonkin described Frein as “a terrorist with murder in his heart, a plan in his mind and a rifle in his hand, who slithered through the woods.”
One of the pieces of evidence prosecutors used against Frein was a letter he wrote to his parents while on the run. Prosecutors said it showed he harbored anti-government views and that the shooting was aimed at sparking a “revolution.”
“Passing through the crucible of another revolution can get us back the liberties we once had,” Frein wrote.
Prosecutors also used a notebook Frein kept that detailed the ambush.
Reading from the notebook, Tonkin said, “Got a shot and took it.” He added, “Some of the most chilling words you will ever hear.”