Lawyers for Schaeffer Cox and another member of the Fairbanks-based Alaska Peacemakers Militia have asked the court to move their trial from Anchorage because it’s “a suburb of Seattle” and is “an environment alien to the accused.”
In a brief filed Friday, Tim Dooley, the attorney for Coleman Barney, argued that the venue should be moved because the defendants are from Fairbanks and “Alaskans generally agree that Anchorage is a distinctly different culture from that of Fairbanks.”
“Other Alaskans frequently refer to Anchorage as ‘Los Anchorage’ and say that the best thing about Anchorage is that it is ‘only one hour away from Alaska,’” the brief says. “Some see Anchorage as a suburb of Seattle. A columnist with the Anchorage Daily News instead of referring to ‘Fairbanks’ refers to the ‘City on the Edge of Nowhere.’” For the record, Anchorage is about 2,200 miles from Seattle.
Dooley also cited the expense of transporting witnesses, many of whom are from Fairbanks, and that the crimes were allegedly committed in Fairbanks. The trial was set for Anchorage because that’s where the charges were initially filed.
Barney is one of five members of the militia who will be tried next year for allegedly stockpiling weapons and plotting to kill a federal judge and Alaska State Troopers. Also among them is Schaeffer Cox, a self-described ‘sovereign citizen’ who was the leader of the militia and allegedly the mastermind behind the plot.
Full coverage of Cox and Barney here.