Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Updated List Of Federal And State Charges Against Schaeffer Cox And His Five Cohorts, Effective March 22nd 2011

Update November 17th: Post updated to reflect the fact that state charges against the defendants have long since been dropped, and additional federal charges now piled on.

The State of Alaska finally secured indictments from a grand jury against Francis Schaeffer Cox and his five cohorts, and the list of charges has grown, requiring a complete new list to be posted so that those interested can follow the case. The sixth person added is Rachel Barney, charged with one count of Hindering Prosecution in the First Degree. Page 12 of the charging document shows that one of the witnesses appearing before the grand jury was identified as a confidential source, designated as AST0-11-1; AST is the acronym for Alaska State Troopers, and so this could be an informant being run by the Troopers.

The complete indictment is outlined in this 14-page charging document, which superseded the original provisional charges which I earlier posted HERE. There are a grand total of 22 counts. Some counts involve as many as five of the defendants, while others involve as few as two. The state court set bail for $2 million for the five defendants except for Rachel Barney. However, even if they could make state bail, they would not be released except for Michael Anderson, because the other four have been denied federal bail by U.S. Magistrate Scott Oravec.

As of April 14th, 2011, the federal trial date for all defendants is now set for February 6th, 2012. State trial date now set for April 16th, 2012.

In a parallel development, William Fulton, the owner of Drop Zone Security, suddenly disappeared after signing over his homes and his business to Wayne Anthony Ross. A lengthy Alaska Dispatch article also describes Fulton as the "supply sergeant" for the Alaska Citizens Militia. Both FBI spokesman Eric Gonzales in Anchorage and Lt. Dave Parker of the Anchorage Police Department said there are no charges pending against Fulton; when asked about witness protection, Gonzales said, "If he were (there), we wouldn't be allowed to comment on that". This article also provides an updated summary on the series of events leading to the mass arrests, and reveals that on February 19rh, the militia command staff -- Cox, the Vernons, Coleman Barney and other militia members -- met at Barney's house, where Lonnie Vernon apparently tore into Cox for poor planning and told the young militia leader he could no longer stay at the Vernons' home. It appears that while Cox's dedication was respected throughout the militia community, he was increasingly viewed as a hothead.

On March 17th, 2011, Federal prosecutors announced a slew of Federal charges against four of the defendants, listed on two separate charging documents HERE and HERE. Note that on both charging documents, not all charges apply to all defendants; read through each count to find out which ones apply to which defendants:

-- Lonnie Vernon:
---- One count Threatening Murder of Family Member of United States Judge
---- One count Threatening Murder of United States Judge
---- One count Conspiracy to Murder Federal Officials
---- One count Conspiracy to Possess Unregistered Firearm and Destructive Device
---- One count Possession of Silencer
---- One count Possession of Unregistered Machine Gun
---- One count Possession of Machine Gun
---- One count Silenced Firearm Used In Furtherance of a Crime of Violence
---- One count Conspiracy to Possess Unregistered Silencers and Destructive Devices

-- Karen Vernon:
---- One count Threatening Murder of Family Member of United States Judge.
---- One count Threatening Murder of United States Judge.
---- One count Conspiracy to Murder Federal Officials
---- One count Conspiracy to Possess Unregistered Firearm and Destructive Device

-- Schaeffer Cox:
---- One count Conspiracy to Possess Unregistered Silencers and Destructive Devices
---- One count Possession of Unregistered Destructive Devices
---- One count Possession of Unregistered Silencer
---- One count Possession of an Unregistered Machine Gun
---- One count Possession of Machine Gun
---- One count Making of a Silencer

-- Coleman Barney:
---- One count Conspiracy to Possess Unregistered Silencers and Destructive Devices
---- One count Possession of Unregistered Destructive Devices

Neither Michael Anderson nor Rachel Barney were indicted by the Federal Grand Jury; they face no Federal charges.

Update November 17th, 2011: Francis Schaeffer Cox, Coleman Barney, and Lonnie Vernon now face additional charges including conspiracy to possess or possession of unregistered silencers, destructive devices, and a machine gun; making a silencer, and carrying a firearm during a crime of violence.



Until Assistant District Attorney Dwayne McConnell decided to drop all state charges on October 28th, 2011, the defendants were to face the following state charges listed below(this is being preserved for archive purposes). The state trial date was scheduled for April 16th, 2012:

-- Schaeffer Cox (4FA-11-00796CR): Two counts Conspiracy to Commit Murder in the First Degree, two counts Conspiracy to Commit Kidnapping, nine counts Misconduct Involving Weapons in the Third Degree.

-- Lonnie Vernon (4FA-11-00797CR): Five counts Conspiracy to Commit Murder in the First Degree, two counts Conspiracy to Commit Kidnapping, three counts Misconduct Involving Weapons in the Third Degree, one count Hindering Prosecution in the First Degree.

-- Karen Vernon (4FA-11-00798CR): Five counts Conspiracy to Commit Murder in the First Degree, two counts Conspiracy to Commit Kidnapping, three counts Misconduct Involving Weapons in the Third Degree, one count Hindering Prosecution in the First Degree.

-- Coleman Barney (4FA-11-00799CR): Two counts Conspiracy to Commit Murder in the First Degree, two counts Conspiracy to Commit Kidnapping, six counts Misconduct Involving Weapons in the Third Degree, one count Hindering Prosecution in the First Degree.

-- Michael Orion Anderson (4FA-11-00815CR): Two counts Conspiracy to Commit Murder, and one count Conspiracy to Commit Kidnapping. The single count of Tampering with Evidence was dismissed on July 22nd, 2011.

-- Rachel Barney (4FA-11-00896CR): One count Hindering Prosecution in the First Degree. Update August 18th: Judge David Stewart dismissed this charge due to insufficient evidence; the statute used by the state requires the state to prove Barney helped Cox, that his crime was a felony, that she helped him after the crime was committed, that she knew about the crime, AND that her aid to Cox was intended to help him avoid prosecution.

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