FAIRBANKS — The attorney for convicted militia leader Schaeffer Cox, of Fairbanks, has asked a federal court for a second delay in filing the opening briefs in Cox’s appeal.
Cox was convicted in 2012 on federal charges of conspiracy to murder public officials, soliciting others to commit murder and on weapons charges. He was sentenced in January 2013 to serve 26 years in prison.
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in September granted Cox and his attorney a 90-day extension to file their opening briefs, but Cox’s attorney is now asking for an additional 30 days, to Jan. 29, to prepare.
The court has not yet ruled on the latest request. Prosecutors do not oppose the delay, according to court records.
Cox filed his intention to appeal shortly after his sentencing. He had a difficult relationship with his initial appellate attorney and in May of this year was allowed by the appeals court to have a different attorney.
The new attorney, Myra Sun, cites the volume of case material as a need for the additional delay.
“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 for a further delay. “At the time I sought the first continuance, I was awaiting additional defense exhibits used at trial, which I have received.”
Sun noted she is editing the appeal brief but that she also is handling other cases with similar deadlines.
Federal and state investigators said Cox created a murder plot called “2-4-1” (two-for-one) and shared it with four members of his militia group, known as the Alaska Peacekeepers Militia.
Cox and others claimed membership of about 3,500 people, but the judge sentencing Cox said the group had only about a dozen members.
Under the 2-4-1 plan, militia members would kidnap two law enforcement officers if Cox or other militia members were arrested. Two officers would be killed if Cox was killed, and two government buildings would be burned if Cox’s house was seized, according to the FBI.
Cox and Lonnie Vernon, of Salcha, were convicted of several felonies, including conspiracy to commit murder. Another militia member, Coleman Barney, of North Pole, was convicted of owning illegal weapons and sentenced to five years in prison.
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