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Jury selection begins in shooting that terrorized rural Pa. community

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Jury choice started Thursday in a suburban Philadelphia courthouse a hundred and fifty miles and a world faraway from in which a sniper's bullets left a police officer dead and a rural northeastern Pennsylvania network enveloped in worry more than years ago.

Eric Frein, 33, could face the demise penalty if convicted of killing kingdom Police Cpl. Bryon Dickson in September 2014. Police say Frein, described as a survivalist, laid in wait in nearby woods and shot Dickson as he walked in the direction of his vehicle outside the police barracks in Blooming Grove. any other trooper turned into wounded, and the gunfire just overlooked a dispatcher who heroically ran to their resource.

The shooter then slipped away into the woods, prompting an intensive, seven-week manhunt concerning more than 1,000 police officers. The barracks, approximately 35 miles east of Scranton, now not some distance from the borders of recent York and New Jersey, sits on the threshold of heaps of acres of kingdom woodland within the Pocono Mountains.

the quest drew headlines throughout the nation, seriously hobbled tourism in the region and brought road closures and other headaches to locals. Trackers at one point determined a journal allegedly kept via Frein and discovered in a bag of trash at a hastily deserted campsite. The magazine's author described Dickson as falling "still and quiet" after being shot two times, the ultimate time within the head.

Prosecutors have not said a good deal about a cause, but say Frein previously spoke disparagingly approximately the government. Frein pleaded not guilty, but his attorneys have now not publicly distinctive his protection. A decide has barred Frein from providing proof of insanity.

Frein, who become one of the FBI's 10 most-wanted fugitives, changed into eventually nabbed by using U.S. Marshals at a small, deserted airport about 35 miles from the capturing scene. Police located him in Dickson's handcuffs, and Frein turned into driven from the scene in Dickson's patrol car.

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Jury choice was moved out of Pike County because the community turned into so ate up through the capturing and the manhunt that observed.

Arlene Battista lives and works a few miles from the police barracks. She said she feels totally secure and cozy now. however she recollects properly the weeks of terror, while citizens feared their houses might be centered by means of a desperate killer at the run.

"i used to be petrified," Battista said. "I live on a tiny lane, now not many homes. i'd lock the door each time I stepped outdoor the residence, even all through the day. i used to be so aware of the whole thing round me."

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