Alaskan Militia Leader, 2 of His Confederates Found Guilty on Most Charges
This militia leader combined populist fear, evangelical end of times Christianity, and sovereign citizen philosophy to lead a group that plotted murder & terror attacks for civil officials.
ANCHORAGE, Alaska — An Anchorage jury convicted Fairbanks militia leader Schaeffer Cox and two of his confederates on most of the charges they faced, leaving them looking at the possibility of long prison terms when they are sentenced in September.
As the verdicts were read by U.S. District Judge Robert Bryan, Cox’s eyes darted from juror to juror and then to the full courtroom, returning again to the jurors, and he grew more agitated as the guilty verdicts piled up. The jurors appeared to avert his gaze. When the 21 separate verdicts were in the books and each juror polled by the judge to ensure the record was correct, Cox erupted.
“The prosecutors withheld evidence from you guys!” he shouted to the jury.
“Mr. Cox, please,” said the judge.
Cox looked down and covered his face. The next time he looked up, his eyes were red.
Federal prosecutors charged Cox, 28, Coleman Barney, 37, and Lonnie Vernon, 56, with amassing illegal weapons and with threatening the lives of law enforcement officials and judges. Cox was leader of the Alaska Peacemaker Militia, but his ideology was much broader, combining evangelical Christianity, a sense of an impending national collapse and the assertion that the state and federal government held no authority over him.