Fairbanks Militia Trial Comes to a Close
Schaeffer Cox and Lonnie Vernon found quilty of conspiracy to murder
ANCHORAGE – Schaeffer Cox began to sob as he looked at his teary eyed wife, while the bailiff handcuffed and escorted him out of the courtroom Monday afternoon.
Cox, 28, remained emotionless through most of Monday's proceeding while the judge read the list of 21 verdicts. He only reacted when he was convicted of conspiring to kill government officials. He looked around the courtroom in disbelief, first at his attorney, then at his wife and then at fellow militia member Lonnie Vernon’s attorney.
He then took that time to tell the jury “the prosecution withheld evidence.”
“There has been no allegation except for Mr. Cox's outburst in court that the government has withheld any evidence in this case,” said Assistant U.S District Attorney Steve Skrocki.
Vernon, 56, was the only member of the Fairbanks-based Alaska Peacemakers Militia trio facing charges that did not testify in his own defense.
37-year-old Coleman Barney remained emotionless through the entire process, and was found guilty of a few charges.
They were arrested last year on a slew of federal charges, many of which were weapons charges. Cox, the reputed leader, claimed his militia was working toward social change, not violence.
The judge addressed the jury, which sat through an almost six-week long trial and started deliberating Thursday, and called them the hardest working jury he has ever seen.
Cox and Vernon could face life behind bars. Sentencing is scheduled for September 14, at 9:30 a.m.