White supremacist should die for three Kansas murders, prosecutor argues

Reuters News
Posted: Sep 01, 2015 2:30 PM

By Kevin Murphy

OLATHE, Kan. (Reuters) - A prosecutor urged a jury on Tuesday to give a Missouri white supremacist he called a "remorseless killer" a death sentence for murdering three people, including a boy, he thought were Jewish outside two Jewish centers in Kansas last year.

Frazier Glenn Cross, 74, was convicted Monday of capital murder for the April 2014 shooting spree that left a man and his grandson dead in a Jewish community center parking lot along with a woman visiting a nearby retirement home.

Cross, a former senior member of the Ku Klux Klan, said during his trial that he wanted to kill as many Jews as possible because he believes they are destroying the white gentile race. He said he did not learn until later that none of his victims were Jewish.

His sentencing phase began on Tuesday with prosecutors seeking to convince jurors the murders he committed were especially heinous.

"He was a proud and remorseless killer who only regrets he did not kill more people," Chief Deputy Johnson County District Attorney Chris McMullin told jurors.

Cross, also known as Glenn Miller, spurned appointed attorneys and represented himself at trial. He told jurors he did not regret committing murder.

"It was righteous, it was honorable, it was moral," Cross told jurors in his opening statement, speaking from a wheelchair he uses due to lung disease.

Cross was found guilty on Monday of killing high school student Reat Underwood, 14, and Underwood's grandfather, 69-year-old William Corporon, outside the Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City, as well as Terri LaManno, 53, outside a Jewish retirement home. Both are in Overland Park, Kansas.

He was also found guilty of attempted murder for shooting at three other people.

On Tuesday, Cross showed the jury what he said would be the first in a series of videos that reflect his views about Jews.

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Prosecutors called only one witness on Tuesday - a detective who testified to documents showing that a musical talent competition was being held at the community center for teenagers on the day of the shootings. Corporon had driven Underwood there to participate in the event.

In laying the ground work for a death sentence, McMullin said the murders were "heinous, cruel and atrocious," were done with premeditation and involved multiple innocent victims.

But Cross said he should receive life without parole, citing several factors, including his age and poor health.

(Reporting by Kevin Murphy; Editing by Carey Gillam and Sandra Maler)