US & Canada

Eric Frein jeered after he is charged with officer's murder

Eric Frein is escorted by police out the Pike County Courthouse after his arraignment in Milford, Pennsylvania 31 October 2014 Image copyright AP
Image caption Eric Frein survived nearly 50 days in the woods of Pennsylvania as police searched for him

Local residents jeered and shouted abuse at a Pennsylvania man accused of killing a police officer and eluding authorities on a weeks-long manhunt.

Eric Frein, 33, appeared in court and was charged with murder, a day after his capture following weeks in hiding.

He is accused of opening fire outside a state police barracks on 12 September, killing Cpl Dickson and wounding another officer, Trooper Alex Douglass.

Prosecutors say they will seek the death penalty.

He was charged at the Pike County, courthouse on Friday but was not asked to enter a plea.

Mr Frein will be jailed without bail, with his next hearing scheduled for 12 November.

The community, which had been living under virtual siege during the manhunt, reacted strongly to Mr Frein's capture.

As he entered and left the courthouse on Friday, guarded by a cordon of police officers, local residents shouted, "Are you sorry?", "Rot in hell!" and "Why did you do it?".

Image copyright AP
Image caption Prosecutor Ray Tonkin said the families and the Pennsylvania State Police would never be the same

Mr Frein bore injuries to his face - a gashed and swollen nose and visible bruises and swelling over his left cheek and eye.

"There was no struggle with law enforcement," Lt Col George Bivins of the Pennsylvania state police said. "That was an injury that occurred to him at some point in his flight."

The families of the slain and injured police officers "have suffered an unimaginable loss of unspeakable proportion" and would never be the same, Pike County District Attorney Raymond Tonkin said.

"Today we find some comfort as a community that we are taking these next steps towards justice," Mr Tonkin said.

Mr Frein was charged with first-degree murder, homicide of a law enforcement officer, attempted murder, attempted homicide of a law enforcement officer, possession of weapons of mass destruction, and other crimes.

State police said the investigation was ongoing. The 33-year-old was described by police as a survivalist who was armed and extremely dangerous.

While authorities have declined to answer questions about Mr Frein's motive, police say he had made threatening statements online against police officers.

On Friday, officials offered fresh details of his capture by a team of federal marshals sweeping the vast woods in Pennsylvania's Poconos mountains.

Image copyright Reuters

"This was the result of the ongoing pressure put on Frein by law enforcement," Lt Col Bivins said at a news conference outside the courthouse.

He said the marshals stumbled upon Mr Frein and surprised him, and were not led to him by a tip or sighting.

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett said on Thursday that Mr Frein was taken away in the handcuffs that belonged to Cpl Dickson.

The manhunt cost the state an estimated $10m (£6.3m), Lt Col Bivins said.

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