OLATHE, Kan. (AP) — A white supremacist accused of gunning down three people at Jewish sites in Kansas will go on trial for capital murder, a judge ruled Tuesday.
District Judge Kelly Ryan decided sufficient evidence exists to try Frazier Glenn Miller, 74, of Aurora, Missouri, in the 2014 deaths at the Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City in Overland Park and a nearby Jewish retirement home.
Miller has said he felt a duty to kill Jews before his death, which he believed to be imminent because he suffers from emphysema. He is accused of killing Dr. William Lewis Corporon, 69, and his 14-year-old grandson, Reat Griffin Underwood, who were attending a singing contest audition at the Jewish Community Center. He is also accused of killing Terri LaManno, 53, who was visiting her mother at the retirement home. None of the three was Jewish.
Prosecutors have said they plan to seek the death penalty if Miller is convicted.
Attorneys in the case are under a judge's order not to comment, leaving it unclear how Miller's defense will proceed at trial. His former attorney withdrew from the case in February because of a breakdown in communication with Miller.
Besides capital murder, Miller is charged with three counts of attempted first-degree murder, one count of aggravated assault and one count of criminal discharge of a weapon at a structure. Miller did not visibly react when the judge ruled.
A judge scheduled Miller's arraignment for March 27, honoring a request by Miller's attorney to delay that court appearance so he can advise his client.
Deputy Johnson County Coroner Dr. Charles Glenn testified Tuesday that the three victims suffered devastating injuries when hit by gunfire. He said Corporon died instantly after being shot from about 3 feet away but Reat, who was shot from 5 to 10 feet away, was still breathing as the gunman left the scene. LaManno, who was shot in the head and neck, likely lost consciousness immediately after being shot and her blood loss "would have been massive," Glenn testified.
Andrea Reed, a crime scene investigator, testified that a 12-gauge shotgun and .38-caliber revolver were found in the front seat of Miller's car. In the trunk was a .30-caliber rifle with a jammed round and another 12-gauge shotgun, along with ammunition. Another witness linked ammunition found at the crime scenes to Miller's weapons.
Miller shouted "Heil Hitler" and asked how many Jews he had killed after he was arrested near the retirement home, Overland Park police Sgt. Marty C. Ingram testified Monday. Another police officer, Charles Wimsatt, testified that Miller tried to recruit him to his cause, asking him if he was German.
As court adjourned Monday, Miller turned to LaManno's family, apparently assuming they were Reat's relatives, and apologized. "I very much regret the little boy," he said, adding he thought Reat was 21 and Jewish. The family told Miller they didn't accept the apology. They declined to be interviewed.
Miller, a Vietnam War veteran also known as Frazier Glenn Cross, founded the Carolina Knights of the Ku Klux Klan in his native North Carolina and later the White Patriot Party.