The sole suspect in the troopers’ shootings, Eric Frein, 33, was the focus of a grueling 48-day manhunt in the late summer and fall of 2014 that occupied hundreds of state, local and federal law enforcement officers. It cost the state police alone more than $11 million in overtime, benefits, travel and equipment costs, according to records released in response to a Right-to-Know request by The Morning Call.

Whether Frein, a self-styled survivalist who evaded police for nearly seven weeks after the shootings, will have the opportunity to elaborate on his alleged desire to trigger an uprising is a decision for him to make under the advice of his lawyers.

“Often with these defendants they want to go to trial to air their twisted sense of battling the government and being a patriot,” said Hank Hockeimer Jr., a former federal prosecutor who worked on the Oklahoma City bombing case and prosecuted other domestic terrorism cases during an upwelling of anti-government sentiment in the 1990s.

For Frein to beat the terrorism charge, his lawyers will have to work to keep his written statements and confessions out of the evidence that jurors hear. They could do that by arguing the statements were seized in an illegal search or try to persuade the judge that they’re too prejudicial.

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