PIKE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) The defense began today by calling a professor from American University in Washington D.C. As they try to save Eric Frein’s life, defense lawyers tried to show growing old in a jail can be long and lonely — indirectly showing it might be a tougher fate than death. Eyewitness News Reporter Eric Deabill has the latest
As an expert in criminology and prison life, Dr. Robert Johnson was the first witness called by the defense in the trial of Eric Frein.
He tried to show prison is painful.
“Lifers are not as dangerous as people think they are” Said Dr. Robert Johnson, Professor/ Prison Life Expert
Dr. Johnson reviewed Frein’s case and feels the 33-year-old could adjust to life behind bars but indicated Frein has had three infractions since his arrest.
“The infractions did not show any violence and as a result they didn’t concern me” noted Dr. Johnson
District Attorney Ray Tonkin challenged the expert, pointing out Frein was flagged for indecent exposure and providing false statements, all for possibly urinating in a prison yard.
“Apparently that expert doesn’t they’re a big deal but it will be up to the jury to assess that” added Ray Tonkin, Pike County District Attorney
Tonkin also tried to show life prisoners could eventually have access to sports and don’t spend all day locked-up.
As defense lawyers begin the process of trying to save Eric Frein’s life, they admit they’re trying to show life in prison isn’t a country club.
As for potential witnesses, they have not directly ruled out the possibility that Eric Frein himself could take the witness stand to try and spare himself from the death penalty.
Before resting their penalty phase case today, more family and friends of victim Corporal Bryon Dickson also took the stand.
The highlight was Dickson’s mother Darla who said she did not hate Eric Frein but does hold him accountable