Costs related to the upcoming criminal trial for Eric Frein, accused of fatally shooting one state police trooper and wounding another in 2014, could contribute to a tax increase in the county where the trial is being held.
Pike County is proposing a tax increase of 1.2 mills to raise an additional $1.2 million, the Scranton Times-Tribune reports. The extra money is to be used to shore up pension and medical insurance accounts, and to set aside $250,000 for the Frein trial.
Frein, now 33, was apprehended after a seven-week-long manhunt in the Poconos following the Sept. 12, 2014, ambush outside the state police barracks in Blooming Grove that left Cpl. Bryon Dickson dead and Trooper Alex Douglass seriously wounded.
More than 1,000 law enforcement officers were involved in the lengthy search for Frein, who has been charged with murder and could face the death penalty.
Costs for Frein's trial, scheduled for March, are expected to climb because prosecutors and the defense have agreed to select the jury from Chester County. The out-of-county jury is meant to ensure Frein receives a fair trial.
But that means Pike County will have to transport the jurors and house them in a hotel near the courthouse during the trial, which could last up to eight weeks, Matthew Osterberg, chairman of the board of commissioners, told the Times-Tribune.
"The numbers can really escalate really quickly," he said.