Written by Maxine Bernstein (Oregon Live)
Shawna Cox, one of the 25 people indicted on a federal conspiracy charge in the armed takeover of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, has filed her own complaint against federal employees, saying she was a victim of public corruption and government oppression.
The eight-page “counter criminal complaint” filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Portland contends that state and federal employees attempted to kill her and “executed” her “co-witness and co-informant” Robert “LaVoy” Finicum on Jan. 26.
Federal agents and state police stopped Finicum’s truck as he and other leaders of the Jan. 2 refuge takeover were heading to a community meeting in John Day.
Cox, of Utah, was riding in the back of Finicum’s white truck when he sped away from police, rammed into a snowbank at a roadblock and then got out of the truck with his hands up. The FBI said Finicum reached inside his jacket twice before state police shot him. He was carrying a loaded 9mm pistol, the FBI said.
The refuge occupiers took what Cox calls “hostile adverse possession” of the federal sanctuary outside Burns to challenge “clouded land titles.” She maintains that she wasn’t interfering with any refuge employees because it was winter.
She actually “encouraged them to come to work” to discuss land ownership issues, her complaint says.
“I am being maliciously prosecuted by State and Federal Bar Association members because they do not want to be held accountable for their subversive activities against the people of the United States of America,” Cox says in the filing.
Cox and the other defendants are accused of conspiring to impede federal officers from working at the sanctuary through intimidation, threats and fear.
Tiffany Harris, Cox’s court-appointed attorney, declined comment on the counter claim.
A notation from the court accompanying the filing says Cox’s complaint seeks civil damages and won’t be addressed in the pending criminal case. The court, it says, urges Cox to consult her attorney and make any arguments in the proper form and at the proper time.
Cox was released from custody on Jan. 29 and got last-minute permission to attend Finicum’s funeral in her hometown of Kanab, Utah. She’s on home detention with a GPS ankle bracelet.
She was allowed to go the service on the condition that she was “not to engage in any public commentary” about the case or Finicum’s death as she went to and from the Kanab Stake of the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-Day Saints.
Cox acted as quartermaster for the occupiers at the refuge, helping coordinate the steady stream of supplies needed to feed those who had come to Oregon.
In her complaint, Cox says she’ll ask jurors who hear her case to bring criminal and civil charges instead against all of the Oregon State Bar members and public employees involved in the “persecution, prosecutorial misconduct and ineffective (counsel)” that resulted in the extended prison time for Burns-area ranchers Dwight Hammond Jr. and his son, Steve Hammond.
She also is seeking charges against those who prevented occupiers from resolving the situation through a “grand jury or inquest jury” in Harney County, and those involved in the “ambush” of the leaders of the takeover.
She pledges to subpoena a wide range of local, state and federal officials for depositions — from Harney County Sheriff Dave Ward and Gov. Kate Brown to U.S. District Judge Ann Aiken and Oregon State Audubon Society members.
She seeks more than $666 billion in damages “from the works of the devil,” the complaint says.