White supremacist on trial says he spared woman who was not Jewish

Reuters News
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Posted: Aug 25, 2015 12:48 PM

By Kevin Murphy

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (Reuters) - A white supremacist charged with committing three murders outside two Jewish centers in Kansas last year told a witness at his trial on Monday that he decided against shooting her after she told him she was not a Jew.

Frazier Glenn Cross, 74, who is representing himself at the trial, questioned witness Maggie Hunker about her testimony that she saw Cross shoot a woman in a Jewish retirement home parking lot before he turned his shotgun on her.

Hunker said Cross asked: "Are you a Jew?" She responded that she was not and he put the gun away and drove off, Hunker testified.

In questioning Hunker, Cross recounted their interaction in the parking lot and said he had asked her twice if she was a Jew. He did not hear answer the first time but did the second time, he said.

"I let you live because of that," he said. "I am glad I didn't shoot you."

Cross, also known as Glenn Miller, could face the death penalty if convicted of the April 2014 fatal shootings of 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 the Jewish retirement home in Overland Park, Kansas, a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri.

None of the victims was Jewish.

Corporon and Underwood were shot at close range in the parking lot outside the Jewish community center. Corporon had taken his grandson there to audition for a singing competition.

The shooter then drove to the nearby retirement home where he encountered LaManno, who was there to visit her mother.

Hunker testified she saw Cross shoot LaManno and heard the woman pleading, "No, no, no."

Cross, a former senior member of the Ku Klux Klan, also is charged with attempted murder for allegedly shooting at three other people outside the facilities. He has pleaded not guilty to all the charges.

Prosecutors said in their opening statement on Monday that Cross told someone in a call from jail in October that he was proud of committing the murders.

The trial is expected to last three to four weeks.

(Reporting by Kevin Murphy; Editing by Carey Gillam and Bill Trott)