Police ambush gunman's sister calls him her 'protector'

Frein's lawyers want the jury to sentence him to life without parole.

The defense made a last-ditch effort to keep him off death row, with his 20-year-old sister casting him as a protective older brother. She told a prosecutor: "You made him out to be a monster and that's not who he is at all". She testified that her mother was a selfish manipulator.

"It's our belief that he understands perfectly well what's going on, and that's really the test for competency", he said.

Defense lawyers say Eric Frein is on suicide watch in prison and hasn't slept in five or six days.

Frein's half-sister, Ellen Mitchell, testified that Mike Frein used to place late-night, drunken calls to her and raged about "wanting to kill people".

"I didn't have time to deal with my father's insane", she said. "I failed him by not pushing him harder", said Michael Frein, who has a doctorate in microbiology and worked in the pharmaceutical industry producing vaccines.

Growing up, Eric Frein's father Eugene told his son stories about the Army, combat in Vietnam and being a sniper - but it turns out they were fake. Instead, Eric Frein became a military re-enactor.

Frein also said he shared his political views with his son, telling Eric that "government's too big" and citing a number of cases in which police had shot and killed suspects as "bad police work".

While eluding police, he wrote to his parents that only revolution "can get us back the liberties we once had".

Any mitigation offered by the defense would have to outweigh the aggravating factors that jurors will take into consideration as they weigh Frein's fate: The gunman killed a law enforcement officer, and he did it while committing other felonies.

North Korea detains 3 U.S. citizens
Kim's detention come a particularly hard time, with tensions between Washington and Pyongyang at an all time high. No one knows how the current crisis involving North Korea's nuclear and missile threats will play out.

Frein's decision to avoid the witness stand seemed to come as a relief to one of his lawyers, Bill Ruzzo.

"Defendants typically rationalize, and we were afraid that might happen", Ruzzo told reporters.

Frein's lawyer has said his client tried to emulate his successful father but could never measure up. He laughingly said he would wait until after trial and give to the highest bidder.

Weinstein renewed his complaints Tuesday about Frein's treatment in jail.

Prosecutors then objected to the request, playing a phone conversation that was recorded between Frein and his mother on Saturday.

Weinstein said Frein has been forced since the guilty verdict to wear a heavy "suicide smock" that prevents inmates from hanging themselves, and he is kept in a cell with the lights on around the clock.

The penalty phase started Thursday with the prosecution presenting testimony from Dickson's wife, as well as his parents and his friends. Bryon Dickson II and injured a second trooper.

Frein led police on a 48-day manhunt that involved more than 1,000 local, state and federal law enforcement officers before a team of U.S. Marshals captured him at an abandoned Tannersville resort on October 30, 2014.

The district attorney accused Frein of faking it, and Pike County Judge Gregory Chelak denied the request.

Frein was convicted last week of killing Cpl.

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