By Kevin Murphy
OLATHE, Kan. (Reuters) - Jury selection begins on Monday in the trial of a Missouri white supremacist charged with murdering three people in a shooting spree outside two Jewish centers in a Kansas City suburb in April 2014.
Frazier Glenn Cross, 74, a former senior member of the Ku Klux Klan who has made derogatory remarks about Jews in preliminary court hearings, chose to represent himself at his state trial in Olathe, Kansas.
Cross, also known as Glenn Miller, could be sentenced to death if convicted. About 200 people are on the witness list for the trial and its penalty phase. Jury selection is expected to take all week, court officials said.
Cross is charged with killing Reat Underwood, 14, and his grandfather, William Corporon, 69, outside the Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City, as well as Terri LaManno, 53, outside a retirement home in Overland Park, Kansas. He is also charged with attempted murder for allegedly shooting at three other people outside the facilities. He has pleaded not guilty.
Cross drove up to both facilities in his car on a Sunday afternoon and began shooting, according to evidence presented by the state. Underwood was at the Jewish center for a singing competition. He was in Corporon's car when they were shot. LaManno had been visiting the retirement home when shot. None of the victims were Jewish.
Johnson County District Court Judge Thomas Kelly Ryan ruled in May that Cross could be his own lawyer after Cross said he did not trust his state-paid public defenders to represent his interests. In preliminary hearings Ryan has admonished Cross for speaking out of turn and being disruptive. Three public defenders remain on stand-by duty if Ryan feels they are needed.
(Reporting by Kevin Murphy; Editing by Sandra Maler)