|Coleman Barney, Francis "Schaeffer" Cox, and Lonnie Vernon.|
The most serious charge is the conspiracy to murder charge, and in jury instructions that took more than an hour to read Wednesday, jurors were told that to convict, they must determine the men committed an overt act as part of the conspiracy.
Prosecutors said there were several. The one most frequently discussed at the trial was the “security detail” assigned to protect Cox in North Pole.
Cox feared he was the target of a Colorado-based hit squad, and militia members conducted two meetings about what they planned to do if plainclothes men appeared at the station and started shooting. They came up with a plan for a nine-member security detail but could find only five willing to take part.
Vernon, Skrocki said, showed up with a helmet, body armor and an assault rifle. Barney wore body armor and carried an assault rifle equipped with a launcher with an anti-personnel shell. That constituted a plan to kill federal officers, Skrocki said, even though the government acknowledges that no FBI hit squad exists.
The defendants also compiled names and addresses in a database held by an unindicted co-conspirator, Michael Anderson. Prosecutors likened the database to an enemies list or a hit list. Anderson, an associate of Cox but not a militia member, eventually destroyed the computer and hard drive on which it was compiled.
Skrocki told jurors that what they heard from defense lawyers in closing arguments was a lot of excuses and attacks on government informants. By asking militia members to accompany him to the North Pole television interview, and telling them they had to be ready to kill, Cox was recruiting a hit squad ready to kill federal officials, Skrocki said.
Now I haven't heard all of the evidence presented at trial (Though to be honest I may actually have heard more from my sources than the jury heard from the prosecution.), however it would seem to me that there is ample evidence to put these yahoos away for quite a ling time.
And I have every confidence that they will soon be seeing the world through iron bars.
I happened to peruse the comments section below this Newsminer article, and found that Norm Olson, the godfather of the Alaska militias, was back to shooting his mouth off after having laid low for awhile directly after the arrests.
Riddle me this:
How can the threat to kill be a crime if there is no one to kill?
If I say that I am stockpiling long range rifles to use against alien spacecraft once they enter the atmosphere, is that a crime? If I say that I am stockpiling and training to kill as many Chinese invaders as possible, is that a crime? If I threaten to kill 200 pound flesh-eating blue parrots that are coming from zombie villages in Brazil, is that a crime? If I stalk the woods, hunting for zombies to kill, is it a crime to openly threaten either the aliens, Chinese, parrots, or zombies?
Comeon' folks, put your logic to work...
On the one hand Olson's logic is flawed if he does not understand that armed men working as "security" for a raving lunatic, and who have been instructed to fight to the death against law enforcement, does not present a danger to the police officers, State Troopers, and yes even average Alaskan citizens.
On the other hand it is nice to know that Olson is prepared to defend Alaska from an attack of flesh eating parrots and alien spacecraft. I know I'll certainly sleep better.
What a camo covered dipshit.