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September 19, 2021

Militia Trial – FBI Informant Bill Fulton Speaks

Next up for the defense: Bill Fulton This is the one I’d been hoping for. Insider turned state’s evidence for immunity Michael Anderson, FBI informant for leniency in another case JR Olson, and FBI informant Bill Fulton were the three big witnesses for the prosecution. Or so we thought. It turned out that the prosecution did not call Fulton as a witness. This seemed rather odd. Why not call your own informant as a witness? There were disturbing tales of Fulton’s behavior. Nobody seemed to like him. He was described as abrasive, a drunkard, nasty, violent and mean. Michael Anderson…

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…

Militia Trial: Armed Guards & Being Followed

Witness Victoria Thompson enters the court room wearing a long bright red cable-knit cardigan sweater. She is the News director for KJNP radio/TV in North Pole and she says she lives “on the KJNP compound.” KJNP stands for ‘King Jesus North Pole.’ The radio station has a gospel music format. She seems unhappy to be here. She doesn’t turn her head to face the prosecutor, but looks sideways while facing straight ahead. She is 72 years old and has been “in the news business” since she was 15. The prosecutor asks her if her allergies are bothering her. She says…

Militia Trial: Insider Witness Surprises

Michael Orion Anderson is on the stand when I arrive in court at the 2-4-1 Militia Trial, also known as the US vs. Scheaffer Cox, Coleman Barney and Lonnie Vernon. Anderson is the “insider” that the prosecution promised to produce for the jury in their opening statement. But what we learn from Anderson doesn’t quite live up to the previews. It’s not that his testimony isn’t dramatic or compelling. It’s that and more – a desperate suicide attempt in prison, destroying a hard drive with a hammer, a first person account of an enraged FBI informant threatening to slit the…

Militia Trial – Day 2, Opening Arguments!

For background, click HERE. For Day 1, click HERE. By inexplicable popular demand, my eerily lifelike courtroom sketching is back. Right out of the box this morning we had an interesting motion from Nelson Traverso, Schaeffer Cox’s attorney. Dogs, he says, are “prejudicial.” Just as hauling defendants into the courtroom in leg irons, or handcuffs when jurors are present can slant a juror’s opinion, so do the explosive-sniffing dogs in the lobby, he argued. We don’t want the jurors to think the defendants “have outside connections to the world of terrorism.” He made sure to tell the judge that he…

Schaeffer Cox Trial – Day 2, Opening Arguments!

For background, click HERE. For Day 1, click HERE. By inexplicable popular demand, my eerily lifelike courtroom sketching is back. Right out of the box this morning we had an interesting motion from Nelson Traverso, Schaeffer Cox’s attorney. Dogs, he says, are “prejudicial.” Just as hauling defendants into the courtroom in leg irons, or handcuffs when jurors are present can slant a juror’s opinion, so do the explosive-sniffing dogs in the lobby, he argued. We don’t want the jurors to think the defendants “have outside connections to the world of terrorism.” He made sure to tell the judge that he…