Militia leader takes the stand in his own defense

Topics: From the Wires,

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — The leader of an Alaska militia accused of conspiring to kill government officials and possess illegal weapons presented a gentler side when he took the stand Monday in his own defense.

Schaeffer Cox of Fairbanks downplayed any notions of an aggressive Alaska Peacemakers Militia, claiming they would only act in the event of a government collapse.

Use of arms, he said, was only appropriate if someone was about to harm you. And the use of violence is only warranted against the government if they are breaking the law. He pointed to the situation in Syria as an example.

Cox will continue on the stand Tuesday.

Cox, Coleman Barney and Lonnie Vernon are on trial in Anchorage on charges of conspiracy to possess restricted weapons and conspiracy to murder state officials.

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