MILFORD, Pa. (AP) - A jury on Wednesday was expected to begin weighing the sentence for a gunman who targeted Pennsylvania state troopers at their barracks, killing one and leaving a second with devastating injuries.
Testimony ended in the penalty phase of Eric Frein's trial, with closing arguments scheduled for Wednesday afternoon.
Eric Frein, 33, could be sentenced to death in the 2014 ambush that killed Cpl. Bryon Dickson II and wounded Trooper Alex Douglass. His lawyers are trying to keep him off death row, arguing for a sentence of life in prison without parole.
Prosecutors ended their case by playing a jailhouse phone call between Frein and his father, Mike Frein, who told his son the defense strategy would be, "It's not your fault. Your father's a nut job," according to a recording of the April 14 conversation.
The defense has been trying to show that Frein grew up with an angry, domineering and abusive father who imparted his anti-government views to his son. Lawyers hope the jury will consider Frein's relationship with Mike Frein a mitigating circumstance.
"We want the jury to know the life that Eric Frein led," defense lawyer Michael Weinstein told reporters, calling Frein the product of his environment.
Prosecutors say Frein was trying to spark a revolution when he opened fire outside the Blooming Grove barracks on Sept. 12, 2014, targeting his victims at random. He was convicted last week of murder of a law enforcement officer, terrorism and other offenses.
New York Law School professor Robert Blecker was the last prosecution witness in the penalty phase of Frein's trial. He told jurors that inmates doing life can earn substantial privileges for good behavior, spending most of their waking hours out of their cells and taking advantage of recreational and work opportunities.