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Milita Trial – Prosecution Rests & Motions Heard

My plan was to just play catch up with the notes and testimony I’ve already heard, but today was just too exciting not to want to get this out to you in a timely way. So that means I have a couple witnesses for the prosecution still waiting to be reported on, but they will have to find a comfortable place somewhere in the series of tubes to hang out for a while.

Today, court started half an hour early. I, alas, did not.

Motions are being heard as I walk into the courtroom. Nelson Traverso for Schaeffer Cox, and Tim Dooley for Coleman Barney have already made their motions. MJ Haden for Lonnie Vernon is speaking about how the government has not met the burden of proof on charges against her client.

I’ve added everything in parentheses, sometimes my own comments and sometimes to try to fill in the gist of something I missed the exact words for, but there’s not much editorializing from yours truly today. I basically sat there from 8:25am, to 5:00pm typing as fast as I possibly could. No lunch break either. This was good stuff all on its own.

My eerily lifelike courtroom sketches will be improved later. These are the product of my attempts to take a picture using my phone, and uploading at a coffee shop with no photo editing software.

MJ Haden:
“Lonnie Vernon was sent to (Anchorage to) get grenade bodies. There is nothing illegal about that. And as far as the (illegal) fuses go, he was told to get them from Aaron Bennett (of Far North Tactical in Fairbanks). Mr. Vernon wasn’t going to get them. He said, “If Mr. Cox wants to deal with Aaron Bennet, he’ll have to do it. I don’t like Aaron Bennet. I want nothing to do with him.” I don’t think the government has reached burden of proof beyond a reasonable doubt.

“The videotape where Mr. Vernon is in the truck with his wife, appears to be a purchase (of weapons right before they were arrested). But even if there was an agreement, later he has a blowout with Cox and has no more communication with Mr. Cox. He’s already out. Even if there were a conspiracy, he has withdrawn. He’s on his own. And he is not charged with purchasing those items. He’s charged with conspiracy.”

“Let’s talk about Count 12 – Conspiracy to murder federal officials. Our understanding is that federal officials that are the subject of this count are the 6 fictitious FBI agents that never existed, and the TSA folks that Mr. Cox had a beef with. We’ve heard a lot of conversation, but never heard any of the defendants talk about TSA folks amongst themselves. Lonnie Vernon doesn’t even know who these people are. There is no evidence that Cox had a discussion with him, or that he had any beef with the TSA, or ever been to the airport. This is all Mr. Cox’s idea. It was never discussed.

(In an interview at KJNP in Fairbanks, Cox had referenced in an on air interview, 6 FBI agents that had come to Alaska from Aurora Colorado to kill he and his wife and child. As far as anyone knows, these agents do not exist.)

This is all about the 6 fictitious FBI agents and KJNP. To show a conspiracy it is absolutely essential that there was an agreement between the named co-conspirators. Merely discussing the desirability of criminal acts does not constitute an agreement to commit those acts. We’ve heard a lot of words come out of Mr. Vernon’s mouth, there’s no two ways about it, it was not good what he talked about, what he expressed, but that in itself is not enough.

I gave the jury an instruction – the mere similarity of conduct, and the fact that they may have assembled and discussed common aims and interests does not necessarily show conspiracy. They must show that members willingly in some way or manner, positively came to a mutual understanding of a common and unlawful plan charged in the indictment. So what we’re focusing on here is did Mr. Vernon agree that he was going to murder federal officials? And this focuses on the KJNP incident. Besides the TSA folk, that’s all we heard about federal officials. We heard a lot about state courts, and state judges, but we’re not here about state troopers, or the Fairbanks police department. Our only concern here is with federal officials, and law enforcement. So this all focuses on the KJNP. What have we heard? Well, there were several meetings Mr. Cox orchestrated that he wanted a security force, we saw on the white board where it said “lead poisoning,” but there’s been no evidence that he saw the whiteboard, or that he agreed to the plan that was on the white board.

There was testimony from Gary Brockman, who was sitting in living room and eating cake and ice cream, talking about the security detail. Brockman doesn’t recall seeing the white board. It’s 3 foot by 4 foot. We saw it. He has no recollection of seeing the white board. That’s a pretty big elephant in a small living room not to see. He and Lonnie Vernon showed up with firearms to KJNP. But Mr. Brockman never agreed he was going to shoot or kill anyone. He testified if federal law enforcement showed up they were going to try to keep them in vehicles, not with weapons, but with their bodies. If there was a confrontation he would lay down his rifle. He wasn’t going to shoot anybody. Mr. Vernon never agreed to shoot anybody.

The government may argue – ‘Well, when we searched Lonnie Vernon’s house, we found a sheet of paper with handwriting on it. It references KJNP. It mimics some of the words that were on the white board.’

They show a piece of paper on the screen with handwritten notes referencing the KJNP incident and what is to be done. They zoom in on one area of the paper:

(This trial is either the best, or the worst advertising KJNP has ever had).

“Evening –
2 vehicles scope out KJNP
Once there stop all incoming traffic and watch all entrances.
If troopers show up let them arrest
If they bare (sic) down on anyone use Disp agents.
Try not to kill
Bodily stop
Use grenates to stop.

There is no evidence he had grenades. He saw Coleman Barney with a launcher, but he doesn’t know whether Coleman Barney brought it to KJNP.

We have to have a plan. We have to have an agreement for a conspiracy. If there is no conspiracy in count 12, there can be no 921c charge. There is no crime of violence. Therefore, all 3 charges against Mr. Vernon should be dismissed.

(Vernon has been paying very close attention. He looks plaintive and hopeful at the same time, if that is possible.

Federal prosecutor Steve Skrocki speaks now. He’ll address all the motions made by all three defense attorneys at one time, going down the list point by point.)

Skrocki:
“You’ve seen a lot of evidence. We’ve been here for almost 3 weeks. In the middle of the paper it says if an agent draws down on Schaeffer, Marti or (common law judge) Bartels, – “shoot him.” (It does say that on the paper.)

“These 3 gentlemen are brothers in arms – no doubt about that. They started in 2009, with Mr. Cox and Mr. Anderson talking about a hit list. They are talking about when the government will collapse, and martial law. That’s all fine and dandy, but (the plan/list) changed based on his whims with people, and what he perceived to be wrongs done against him – the US Marshals, TSA, DHS, and anyone else who was out there just doing their job.

Mr. Barney drove to get the list. They talked about Michael Anderson being a snitch. Lonnie Vernon wanted access to the list. He wanted to make his own list that included fed employees.

In 2010 that list grew from 15-30 people.

Judge: “How do we know it was some sort of a hit list?”

We have it from Mr. Anderson’s testimony. He indicated, ‘We’re going to kill. We’re going to get them before they get us.’ Further from the document in his home titled “federal hit list” with the name of a federal marshal. That list is in existence. We’ve established this and all the defendants know about it.

About the KJNP security detail. There is a plethora of physical evidence that there was intent to kill – 3 documents from Barney’s home, and Cox’s home. The last document talks about grenades, and a hornet’s nest. Barney admits during conversation he carried a hornets nest launcher with his AR15. The box has a warning that it was dangerous and that federal law could apply to a hornets nest and launcher in combination.

They were there to survey the area, block the road, work on communications plan, the backup emergency plan… We know he shows up with body armor, an AR10 launcher with a hornets nest in it, and he’s working the perimeter. If federal agents drew down he was going to kill them.

Mr. Vernon was dressed and ready to go to war. He had a helmet, his SIG… The note says “shoot them.”

We have Cox telling Olson you’ve got to be prepared to kill. This is not a lock-your-arms Gandhi thing. The reference to Gandhi is patently ridiculous. Gandhi never had an armed detail like this.

Mr. Traverso’s argument that possession of these devices is contingent on the collapse of the government makes no sense.

Mr. Brockman provided uncrossed testimony about Barney being in Cox’s home and knowing the hornets nest ‘goes out a million miles an hour and folds you like a pretzel.’”

Judge:
“There is no federal warrant out for Mr. Cox.”

Skrocki:
“Correct.”

Judge:
“It seems extremely unlikely that any federal agents are going to show up there for any reason. Is there a ‘condition precedent’ that has not been met?”

Skrocki:
“The law of conspiracy requires an agreement bet 2 or more. ‘Condition precedent’ is like saying we’ve got guns, and the map of the bank, and we agree we’re going to do it. And you go to the wrong store – there’s no bank there. There’s still a conspiracy.

We have 3 notes. The ‘condition precedent’ doesn’t seem to be an impediment.”

Judge:
“Some could say the conspiracy law is just a mass of confusion but let me ask you about this more specifically. Mr. Traverso argues that there’s got to be a ‘condition precedent’ and a likelihood that the condition would occur.

Skrocki:
I agree that the conspiracy law can be difficult, and some believe it is over-broad. In this case, we have plenty of discussion of FBI and federal agents, and I don’t think because of good law enforcement that should operate… we’re talking about what they’re thinking. This is all pretty clear. ‘I need a conspiracy detail, and if federal agents show up and draw, you’re gonna kill ‘em.’

Judge:
“There were no federal agents we know of. There may as well have been little green men from Mars. So, is the likelihood of federal agents arresting Cox – is that a ‘condition precedent’ here that needs to be met with evidence of a realistic conspiracy. You can conspire to commit an act that’s impossible to do.”

Skrocki:
“Like a nuclear weapon. It’s impossible, but that doesn’t make it legal.

In the jury instruction we’ve got a couple examples. (He cites a lot of case law.) It’s the same thing as going to rob the bank on a holiday – you can’t perfect the crime, it doesn’t mean it’s legal to do so.

Continuing with the time line, is that in January and February as Michael Anderson testified, Mr. Cox gave him additional names for the list. The hit list is the government’s case. In February of 2010, Michael Anderson gets another set of names – Bowchamp, Curtis, Stedler, state officials, Tolop, Ron Wall, and this is where it diverges a bit. Now he’s being offended by the state. These people need to go too. Cox wants US Marshals, Anderson looks up a Marshal, writes his name down and it says ‘Federal Hit List.’ It can’t get more plain than that.

Mr. Cox instructs Lonnie Vernon and Coleman Barney to go to Anchorage to get these grenade bodies. The defense is doing what they’re supposed to do – they want to look at their clients in isolation. We look under the overall large umbrella. They’re all in a conspiracy. They talk about 2 second fuses, 8 second fuses, the use of C4 (explosive) to ‘make the shrapnel fly.’

Mr. Vernon goes to the convention with Mr. Olson to start talking about suppressors. Lonnie Vernon starts talking about the war. Of all 3 defendants, Mr. Vernon is the one who is willing to pull the trigger above anyone else. There were significant problems he had, but there is no evidence he’s tried to separate himself. Lonnie Vernon was a Sergeant. He was there at the commission ceremony; he has arms; he’s a loyal soldier. Just because (Cox) moves out (of Vernon’s house), it doesn’t mean he’s withdrawn. He’s still a member, he’s got his uniform. He was talking in February about taking out cell towers. There was phone contact. Mr. Vernon says he’s spoken to Coleman. That was a week before the arrest. Mr. Vernon says he needs a suppressor and ‘I have a reason for it.’

At this point anyone who would have pulled him over, would have gotten into a firefight with him.

Mr. Barney was supposed to go to the militia conference. The evidence is there that Barney heard enough of the conversation in the Ester cabins on the 1st. Cox provides detail of how much it costs – grenade bodies, powder, the bolt in the bottom. How do we know Barney knew what was going on? – We showed pictures of fuses that had been pulled. There were two handles in a box in his pantry. His whole argument is a string of ‘I didn’t know, I didn’t know, I didn’t know.” He was on the security detail, he was a Major in the militia, he was joined at the hip to Mr. Cox, driving him around, but he didn’t know? Cox and Barney were told on at least 2 occasions, this is under the table and off the books. Were told to make the sale. The conspiracy to get weapons was put in place in February of 2011. The jury is allowed to see what happens in the car (the arrest).

Cox puts on gloves in the car so as not to leave fingerprints. When given a hand grenade most people would say what is this? There is a discussion in the car, but Barney says it’s still cool. He might get a silencer legally, but this is under the table.

When the weapons weren’t what they had wanted, they discussed the relative killing power of a .22, even though it wasn’t what they wanted. There is a discussion about whether to order them – yes order them up. It was chilling – Coleman Barney says ‘we’ll go in light and we’ll have to get up close.’ This is not the discussion of someone who wants to purchase a silencer above board. He knows exactly what he’s doing.

In terms of the trailer, the jury is allowed to infer a lot of things. Cox says there’s goodies there I’m going to cherry pick them before I leave. In terms of personal items like the wedding dress… what is he taking – grenades, powder, fuses, it tells them this stuff is pretty important. There are photos of the trailer. Some of that stuff is not a one-man job. They are left to infer that the trailer is left at the ice park for a reason. They say we showed up only to talk to Mr. Cox about moving, now they see it’s patently untrue.

He talked about ‘cans’ and ‘produce,’ they were talking about pineapples. It’s code (for pineapple grenades), it’s like a drug deal. Barney is doing the driving. They arrive dressed for battle. On the way over they are talking about grenades, and silencers. Barney made comments about fuses. There were items out of the Bradway stash (one of the weapons caches for the militia) that ended up in the trailer. Olson says he saw 8 grenades in the shed behind the house. Barney knew where the key was. The jury knows that, and that all those items end up at the trailer. They know the inference that the trailer was left because of the 30 caliber weapon, auto, cranked…. Things that will be problematic if law enforcement found them. He didn’t want to give up the trailer.

About the existence and manufacture of the silencer – Cox did a tutorial. Everything from apple slices (a modification necessary to turn a semi-automatic weapon into a fully automatic one) to shaving cream (which enhances the effect of a silencer). Mr. Cox admits he’s got a silenced 22 and Barney says it’s really quiet, so they know he’s seen it in action.

(I still can’t believe that the two parenthetical notes in the paragraph above are things of which I can speak with some sort of authority. I am actually, in some ways, glad this trial is almost over!)

There were also coded phones, and also some very powerful testimony from Sarah Thompson. She provided genuine and heartfelt testimony about her like of Coleman Barney, but he’s not the same guy she knew a year and a half ago. She said Coleman Barney would kill for Schaeffer Cox. There’s your command staff. There are a lot of facts that cover the association.

Regarding the 241 – I’m assuming if they take the stand, we’re going to hear a lot of “this is another contingency.” After those two meetings, had Schaeffer Cox been arrested by anybody, that was a condition for it to go. There was a warrant out for him – a trooper or police officer, or marshal could have arrested him. The jury hasn’t heard anyone say “I’m just not into killing people. I’m out. I want to be the family militia. Not the ‘if you do something bad to me I’m going to break your face’ militia.” Nobody says, ‘This is not in the book, fellas.’ This is deadly serious what they’re talking about. This Gandhi thing is a red herring.

In Mr. Vernon’s post-arrest interview he says ‘Old Billy boy (FBI informant Bill Fulton) was getting us stuff,’ he discussed getting suppressors with Mr. Barney on 2/26.

KJNP happened after the hit list was created. Mr. Vernon in evidence admitted he writes down the names of all federal people on his paperwork.

It’s in evidence that Cox gives Anderson vernon’s paperwork. (“Paperwork from Vernons?” is written on the sheet of note paper with the sketch of the Fairbanks courthouse. We’ve seen that pop up a lot. I think Anderson’s testimony stated that he didn’t know what that was supposed to mean, and that he didn’t get the paperwork. Maybe defense will mention that.)

Mr. Vernon states he wants to get grenade bodies to make them usable. This is supported by a recording.

(Lonnie Vernon is shaking his head back and forth with his lips pressed together as if to say this is not true.)

This is not a case about the 1st amendment. This is about actions, which are supported by the speech. The … confirmed that what the speech said was going to happen. There wasn’t much more to do, other than the killing. The plan, motive, agreement, association, a forward moving plan, and agreement to acquire these weapons for the purpose of killing federal officials – and frankly it was being put together on a day to day basis.

Tim Dooley for Coleman Barney – Rebuttal

If our 3 men had conspired to kill the flying reindeer of Santa and sell their body parts, this would apparently be a violation of the Lacy act for which they could be convicted. (One of the best lines so far. I didn’t think anything was going to top the Judge’s ‘little green men from Mars’ comment, but this one did. It made me laugh extra hard in the context of Lonnie Vernon’s comment about people being disappeared and sold for parts. Come to think of it… I haven’t actually seen those flying reindeer lately… Skrocki interjects, “No it wouldn’t” which also makes me laugh because he looks so serious.) These federal officials from Aurora Colorado are like the flying reindeer. The FBI was not going to go to KJNP. Mr Skrocki stated that all items from the Bradway shed ended up in the trailer (he only said some did) – well, no live grenades ended up in the trailer as testified by Mr. Olson. And again the murky law of conspiracy by the United States Supreme Court rulings states that there needs to be personal responsibility.

~Tim Dooley and the organless flying reindeer. Santa will NOT be pleased.

The fact that someone is making a list called “Federal Hit List” – in Michael Anderson’s testimony, he said that no one asked him to write the list, or put down the name Jimmy Johnson. None of these fellas knew of Jimmy Johnson. Anderson had read about it in the paper and wrote it down. Charging them with that fed official – any of these men – would have been completely unfair. That was Anderson.

(I have to agree about Anderson’s “Federal Hit List.” That was the disappointing evidence that had only one name on it that he came up with himself, and jotted down in a field journal that nobody else knew about. Plenty of other material for the prosecution. This one just fell flat.)

And we’ve heard a concession that the grenades that were on the list were the rubber bullets from the hornets next. Everyone is misusing the word ‘grenades.’ Those rubber bullets are less than lethal. Those are the odds and ends I’m responding to. I think there is some misremembering of facts by the government. I don’t think we can compile inference upon inference upon inference to get to a conspiracy..

Nelson Traverso for Schaeffer Cox – rebuttal

The government has relied heavily on Michael Anderson. How do you establish what part is truthful and what isn’t? He agreed in response to a question by Mr. Skrocki – you didn’t tell the truth when you were interviewed by the police department. You didn’t tell the truth. He said about 80% was truthful. That doesn’t tell us anything other than he has lied, in which a lie is used to potentially send people away to jail for a long, long time.

Martial law is a …we haven’t had martial law, and anyone who can predict it, then predict it, and we can work some agreement out. No one can say that the ‘condition precedent’ has been met in this case. The thing that makes me really suspect about Mr. Anderson’s testimony is that he destroyed the database, which means you’re hiding something – and upon cross-examination, that the marshal’s name was his own doing; the Fairbanks police officer’s name was his doing. There are names here and here (he indicates in the air the placement of names on Anderson’s hand written page of notes in the margins)– it looks like a rumination. And his equations he’s doing,…. (he’s talking about a sheet of air flow calculations Anderson was doing when he got a call from Cox and wrote a name or names in the corner of the paper). Does that look like a hit list? The only way we will ever know what happened is when that database is right here, and we can do what we did with cell phones and retrieve the information and present it. We can’t do that because their own witness has destroyed it.

(He also mentions something about seeing 8 live grenades on 2/22. March 3 is when they do another offer to Mr. Cox and Mr. Barney – do you want to buy 8 live grenades? Why are they doing that? The conspiracy law does not attach. Not entirely sure what this meant.)

MJ Haden for Lonnie Vernon – rebuttal

In the testimony of Michael Anderson – Mr. Vernon never talked to him about the list, never contacted him about the list. My recollection of Mr. Anderson’s testimony is he didn’t know why he had the Vernons’ number or why to contact them about the paperwork. He never called them. He never spoke to Lonnie Vernon about his paperwork.

We’ve heard a lot of talk. Well, talk is talk – talk doesn’t make a conspiracy. People can get together all day long and talk about what they want to do, but there was no plan and without a plan or an agreement, there is no conspiracy. I ran out of fingers about how many times the government said ‘the jury can infer.’ Although the court can draw reasonable inferences, it must be mindful that charges of conspiracy are not to be made by piling inferences upon inferences. She cites long-standing case law.

(Vernon is nodding. He could not possibly be more alert.)

We have no direct evidence that Mr. Vernon agreed to kill or murder anyone at KJNP. We have a lot of talk, but talk doesn’t get it. There’s no evidence he even knew about 241. He wasn’t at the meeting, and when Cox tried to bring it up Mr. Vernon didn’t even know what he was talking about.

Dooley:
“I noticed on the electronic service thing that Michael Anderson’s testimony has been transcribed, and is available to the court.”

Skrocki:
“On March 7, Mr. Barney and Mr. Cox went to his home to get the list, and that’s when Michael Anderson told them he’d destroyed the list. The Bureau made a decision not to confront them at KJNP due to the dangerous nature of the situation.

(He reads from a sticky note that came from either Yvonne Lamoureux or Agent Sutherland.) Mr. Cox’s iPhone has a note that has a reference to ‘hit list.’”

*****

The judge says he will consider the motions (to acquit) carefully, and now it’s time for a break. We hear the sound of three sets of handcuffs going on. It strikes me that this sound has become so familiar, I hardly notice it any more. At first it seemed so jarring. Just like when everyone stands the seats from the chairs pop up and flap back and forth sounding like some kind of weird chair applause.
Coleman Barney is smiling at his family. Vernon is also smiling and laughing. Cox is smiling as he walks out. Cox is always scanning the room, I notice.)

We are back.

Judge:
“I said the other day that I take these motions seriously and that the court should not automatically rubber stamp whatever the government says. I have had the benefit of listening to the evidence for 3 weeks – that is a little dangerous perhaps, because as someone points out, there is some misremembering because of the massive amount of evidence. I have to determine (that evidence) reasonably taken in the light most favorable to the government is sufficient to carry this forward.

Part of conspiracy cases relies on lots of circumstantial evidence, as well as direct evidence, and it relies on what reasonable inferences can be drawn, but cannot rely on too tenuous a chain of evidence. Conspiracy law can be cloudy, and some would say in conspiracy cases the government sees a bear behind every tree, and the defense sees no bear at all – and that’s another way of saying each side can properly take the evidence as they see it, and argue for their position. In conspiracy cases that can be kind of tricky, conspiracy law tells us that the crime occurs when agreement of 2 or more, to commit 1 or more crimes and overt acts, or a substantial step is taken to carry out the agreement. As it was pointed out that was an individual inquiry, in terms of jury decisions, but we have another part of conspiracy law that tells us that once a person becomes a member of a conspiracy, that person can become responsible for the acts of other co-conspirators, even if he does not have knowledge of all the acts of the conspiracy or co-conspirators.

I’ll give comments on some counts, but I will not go into great depth:

Count 1 is conspiracy to possess unregulated silencers and destructive devices – I think the evidence is sufficient to carry that count forward.

Counts 2 and 11 particularly, Mr. Dooley argues from the Herd case that Mr. Barney should not be held responsible. In part, I think the facts are sufficiently different there so Herd is not controlling. There is evidence that the jury could conclude he had dominion and control over the illegal items.

Although Mr. Barney did not technically own the trailer, it was pretty clear he had dominion and control, and he was moving it around. His stuff was in it, along with stuff belonging to Mr. Cox, and arguably, some stuff belonged to the militia. It seemed cloudy as to who owned some of these things, although Mr. Cox had the ability, and did control some of it, but it may have been more jointly owned. That’s not clear to me – what part of the stuff removed from the shed. There is a reference to weapons caches that were more militia caches than some individual’s. In regard to the hornets nest in Mr. Dooley’s argument, there is evidence that Mr. Barney knew about it. There is enough evidence to carry 2 and 11 forward.

Count 12 – Conspiracy to murder
There are lots of arguments made about that, and I think they are arguments that can properly be made to the jury. Sufficient evidence that if jury agrees with government, there is evidence to convict…there’s enough evidence to carry that count forward.

Count 7 – carrying firearms in relation to crimes of violence.
Crimes of violence are dependent on the underlying charges.
As to the rest of the counts alleged, I am satisfied there is sufficient evidence to carry them forward.

The motions to dismiss are denied.”

(He now addresses the defendants.)

Judge:
“Mr. Cox, Mr. Barney, and Mr. Vernon, I want you to understand you each have the right to remain silent. You also have the right to testify. Those are Constitutional rights, and you will have to give up one of those rights. If you choose to remain silent, the jury is instructed not to use silence against you. If you choose to testify you should understand that you not only answer your lawyers’ questions, you have to answer questions from the prosecution, and (the jury will make decisions about) your credibility or believability. Anything you say can be used against you by the jury as well as in your favor, depending on their view of your testimony and what they believe. Do you each understand that?”

Cox: Yes I do.
Barney: Yes sir.
Vernon: Yes I do.

“Have all of you discussed the issue with your attorneys?”
Cox: Yes I have
Barney: Yes
Vernon: Yes

“Let me ask each counsel if you are satisfied that your client understands his rights.”
Mr. Cox does.
Yes, Mr. Coleman Barney does.
Yes, Sir.

“You don’t have to make your minds up until it’s time,” he says to the defendants.

And we get ready to hear witnesses for the defense.

Coming up: Detailed testimony from Bill Fulton before I sleep tonight…

Comments

comments

Comments
12 Responses to “Milita Trial – Prosecution Rests & Motions Heard”
  1. Krubozumo Nyankoye says:

    Well, the first comment attempt appeared to work soI will go on. I can’t seem to get back to older posts so if I have left anyone else’s comment unanswered that is why.

    I haven’t yet read all of this transcription but from the several before I have a sense of the prosecution’s side of the story. It will be interesting to hear the defense try to weaken the case. But the case is not all that strong in the single sense that these boys were so clueless to begin with that though they might have posed a threat, and an urgent one, at some time in the future, what was really going on here was just more like a bunch of middle school boys playing “war”.

    One thing that I do find a little interesting is the invocation of divine justification. That is pretty handy. In theory it could be a perfect defense. I believe it because my religion tells me to and therefore I am not responsible for the consequences.

    Somehow I think that is a trifle too broad.

    Maybe it is just me….

    • Beaglemom says:

      But keep in mind that these “middle school boys’ are “playing” war with real weapons and talking about real people. It’s quite different from running around in the summer with water pistols.

      • Beaglemom says:

        This was in response to Krubozumo Nyankoye’s remarks which have disappeared!

        • Krubozumo Nyankoye says:

          Beaglemom, I am quite aware that these kids were playing around with the real thing. I am also quite aware that not a single one of them has ever experienced anything even vaguely similar to actual combat so I have meant to disparage them in the context that they are, well, childish. Faced with a serious threat I think they would turn tail and run for the woods. So yes it is quite different in some respects and no it is not much different in others.

          While there may indeed be some substance to this conspiracy trial, I dislike that kind of thing in general, it comes too close to committing thought crimes which I do every day. I don’t know what tack the defense is going to take but I were their lawyer I would try to portary them as a bunch of clowns. Because clowns they are.

          The far more dangerous ones are those who have a reasonable (perhaps) carapace of respectability such as Miller and Bailey and Palin but whom are intent upon imposing their ideology on everyone else by whatever means come to their disposal. They have a divine mandate to further their delusions. Nothing else matters.

  2. Krubozumo Nyankoye says:

    I’ll just try to make a comment. Some of the links using javascript are broken for me. Amazing reporting though and the casual but consumately precise courtroom drawings are truly riveting.

  3. ArthurWankspittle says:

    Remind me not to hire MJ Haden:
    “Even if there were a conspiracy, he has withdrawn.”
    What? So if I planned to rob a bank with others but changed my mind about actually doing it, there wasn’t a conspiracy? And thanks for putting it in the mind of the jury that there might have been a conspiracy.

    “(He also mentions something about seeing 8 live grenades on 2/22. March 3 is when they do another offer to Mr. Cox and Mr. Barney – do you want to buy 8 live grenades? Why are they doing that? The conspiracy law does not attach. Not entirely sure what this meant.)”
    I guess that what is being said here is that if vendor A says “Do you want to buy some grenades?” to person B, then says “Do you want to buy some grenades?” to person C you can’t accuse B and C of conspiracy to purchase grenades just on that basis.

    Further with the grenades. I find it unconvincing that the defendants were apparently looking to buy silencers, .50 machine guns, C4 explosive but only wanted grenade bodies (or rubber bullets -that’s a good one – and what length fuse does sir want with his “rubber bullet”? Yeah, right.). I’m waiting for the “only use them as paperweights” excuse to come up next.

    Once again my thanks to you for the detail and effort you are putting into this.

  4. Mo says:

    Hey, it’s 10PM Alaska time, it’s been a long day in court, and you’re still gonna report on Bill Fulton’s testimony? Now that’s grit. I’m in awe.

    • Jeanne Devon says:

      Running on fumes, but I did it… What I will dream about tonight, I don’t even want to think about!

      • formerwriter says:

        Mrs. Devon:
        This was awesome! Thank you for the awesome post! I felt like I was there in the courtroom with you. At the end, when the judge ruled on all the counts, my heart sped up as I wondered which side he would rule on. And, your courtroom drawings RULE! 🙂

        Thank you for your great courtroom reporting!

  5. Amy says:

    Thanks for the riveting summary. I feel like a fly on the wall, and given the nature of these miscreants, that is probably the safest place to be when one of them is around.

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