Frein was convicted in 2017 for the 2014 murder of Cpl. Bryon Dickson II, who he shot outside the Blooming Grove Pennsylvania State Police barracks. Another trooper, Alex Douglass, was also wounded. Following the attack, Frein led police on a 48-day manhunt through the Pocono Mountains. Police forces from outside the state, in addition to federal forces, combed the terrain before finally locating Frein in an abandoned airplane hangar.
In a videotaped police interview, Frein did admit to shooting Dickson and Douglass, and even nodded silently when asked if he regretted his actions. However, he did not provide any reasoning as to why he shot the troopers.
In April 2019, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court upheld lower court decisions, stating that evidence at Frein’s trial was sufficient to back a first-degree murder charge and a subsequent death penalty.
As Governor Tom Wolf did not sign a warrant of execution for Frein within a specified time frame, the secretary of corrections had 30 days to issue the notice himself.
Wolf has previously gone on record stating that he will grant a reprieve each time an execution is scheduled until the state legislature addresses issues listed in a 2018 report.
The release from the Department of Corrections did note that Wolf “Issues temporary reprieves if a warrant reaches his desk without further appeals,” though “we are not at that point in this case.”