Militia head seeks delay in federal appeal

  • Monday, December 29, 2014 10:43pm
  • News

FAIRBANKS (AP) — The Alaska militia leader convicted of conspiracy to murder public officials is seeking a second delay for filing briefs in his appeal.

The attorney for Schaeffer Cox of Fairbanks, Myra Sun, is asking for an additional 30 days to file opening briefs, the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reported.

Cox in June 2012 was convicted of nine federal counts. Besides conspiracy to kill federal law enforcement officers, he was convicted of solicitation to commit a violent crime and possession of illegal weapons.

He was sentenced in January 2013 to 26 years in prison.

His trial attorney said the case was an overreach by prosecutors trying to silence Cox for offensive but protected speech.

Prosecutors said Cox crossed the line separating offhand comments about killing someone to formulation of plans to do so. Federal investigators said Cox created a “two-for-one murder” plot with four members of his militia group, planning to kidnap or kill two law enforcement officers if Cox were arrested or killed.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in September granted Cox and his attorney a 90-day extension to file opening appeal briefs. Prosecutors do not oppose Sun’s request for an additional delay, according to court records.

Sun cited the volume of case material for the request.

“The record in this case totals over 5,000 pages and hundreds of exhibits, including audio or video evidence for which transcripts were provided to the jury,” Sun wrote in the Dec. 22 request. “At the time I sought the first continuance, I was awaiting additional defense exhibits used at trial, which I have received.”

She is editing the appeal brief, she wrote, but also is handling other cases with similar deadlines.

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