Militia trial jurors to hear closing arguments

Anchorage jurors in the conspiracy trial of three Fairbanks militia members are scheduled to hear closing arguments today.

Alaska Peacekeeper Militia leader Schaeffer Cox and members Coleman Barney and Lonnie Vernon are charged with conspiring to kill federal officials and to possess unregistered weapons.

Vernon defense attorney M.J. Haden yesterday called just two witnesses.

Vernon did not testify and prosecutors followed with rebuttal witnesses before resting their case.

U.S. District Court Judge Robert Bryan excused jurors for the day just after 10:30 a.m. to work out details of final jury instructions.

Defense attorneys will argue Wednesday that their clients acted in self-defense as they took up arms to protect Cox at public appearances and that they were entrapped as they considered buying unregistered silencers and hand grenades.