White supremacist charged in Kansas deaths faces competency hearing

Reuters News
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Posted: Dec 18, 2014 7:11 AM

By Kevin Murphy

KANSAS CITY, Kan (Reuters) - A Kansas judge will hear evidence on Thursday as to whether a white supremacist accused of killing three people at two Jewish facilities this year is competent to stand trial on capital murder charges.

Former Ku Klux Klan member Frazier Glenn Cross Jr., 74, also known as Glenn Miller, is charged with the shooting deaths in April in the Kansas City suburb of Overland Park. He could face the death penalty if convicted.

A month ago, Johnson County District Court Judge Thomas Kelly Ryan granted a motion filed by Cross's public defender to have a mental health professional evaluate his client's competency.

Cross, who attended a hearing last month in a wheelchair and with his hands and feet shackled, repeatedly said then that he did not want an evaluation and that he was ready for a trial to begin immediately.

Cross is charged with capital murder in the deaths of 14-year-old Reat Underwood; the boy's grandfather, William Corporon, 69; and Terri LaManno, 53.

Prosecutors say Cross shot Underwood and Corporon on April 13 at the Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City, and then drove to a nearby Jewish retirement home where he shot LaManno.

Before the shootings, Cross had posted on the Internet that he had an "obsessive hatred for Jews." None of the victims that day were Jewish.

Cross, who is being held on a $10 million bond, is also accused of firing on other people at the facilities.

Cross, from the rural community of Aurora in southwest Missouri, is a former senior member of the Ku Klux Klan. He is a convicted felon known as Glenn Miller to law enforcement and human rights groups.

(Reporting by Kevin Murphy; Editing by Daniel Wallis and Mohammad Zargham)