Two accused members of the anti-government militia group Forever Enduring Always Ready will be in Long County Superior Court this week. The men are believed to have fired the shots that killed Michael Roark, 19, and Tiffany York, 17, in December 2011 at Lake Morgan in Long County.
Anthony Peden and Christopher Salmon are scheduled for hearings before Judge Robert Russell III on Thursday and Friday in Ludowici. The hearings were scheduled in July by the judge after new defense attorneys were appointed for the suspects. Peden and Salmon have been charged with shooting Roark and York as FEAR co-founder and leader Isaac Aguigui and other members watched. The militia reportedly was founded by disenchanted soldiers who aimed to eventually overthrow the U.S. government.
Aguigui and another FEAR member, Michael Burnett, have already pled guilty for their involvement in hatching the plot that resulted in the teenagers’ deaths. Burnett pleaded guilty to two counts of voluntary manslaughter in August 2012, and Aguigui pleaded guilty to two counts of murder on July 19. Both men also pleaded guilty to several other charges.
According to testimony from Burnett and Aguigui, the militia members reportedly lured the victims to a wooded area at Lake Morgan the night of Dec. 5, 2011, by inviting Roark to shoot at targets in Long County. Aguigui said the plan did not involve killing York, and he told Roark not to bring her. When Roark let her come along anyway, the group members decided to kill York to avoid leaving a witness. Aguigui said Peden shot York as she was getting out of the car, and then Salmon shot Roark in the head. Their bodies were discovered by local fishermen.
Peden will be in the Long County courthouse Thursday, and Salmon’s hearing is Friday.