Defendant in Jewish site shootings trial seeks postponement

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Posted: Aug 25, 2015 2:53 PM
Defendant in Jewish site shootings trial seeks postponement

OLATHE, Kan. (AP) — A white supremacist charged with killing three people last year at Jewish sites in suburban Kansas City asked a judge on Tuesday to postpone the defense part of his trial until evidence he requested arrives in the mail.

Frazier Glenn Miller Jr., 74, of Aurora, Missouri, said before jurors were brought into the courtroom that the prosecutors' case was moving more quickly than anticipated.

Miller, who fired his attorneys in May and has been representing himself, told Johnson County District Judge Thomas Kelly Ryan that he might not be ready to present his defense after prosecutors finished.

"In view of that and the difficulty getting evidence mailed to me, I'd like to ask for postponement after prosecutors finish their case," Miller said. He did not give details about the evidence.

Ryan refused to rule on that request but said he would take it up after the prosecution was done. The judge also reminded Miller he wanted to represent himself.

At multiple hearings leading up to the trial, Miller admitted that he killed William Corporon, 69, and Corporon's 14-year-old grandson, Reat Griffin Underwood, at the Jewish Community Center in Overland Park, and Terri LaManno, 53, at the nearby Village Shalom retirement center on April 13, 2014. None of the three was Jewish.

Much of the evidence Miller has told jurors he planned to present consists of magazine and newspaper articles, books and TV shows that support his views. It's unclear how much of that he will be able to present, though, because the judge has said he can't argue motives for the shootings until the penalty phase of the trial.

Prior to the trial, Ryan also told Miller he couldn't use a "compelling necessity" defense in which he planned to argue that Jewish people are committing genocide against the white race and needed to be stopped.

Part of the reason the prosecution case is moving so swiftly — testimony concluded nearly two hours early Monday after the day's witness list was exhausted — is that Miller has been asking very few questions. Many of the questions he did ask have drawn objections from prosecutors, who argued that the religious views of witnesses are not relevant to Miller's trial.

With no formal legal training and his stand-by attorneys ordered to not get involved in the trial unless requested by the judge, Miller has voiced a number of bizarre objections and has frequently been told his comments toward witnesses were out of order.

On Tuesday, he objected to the oath witnesses take because it doesn't include the word God. He also objected to the placement of a podium that prevents him from seeing all the jurors, and to video recorded on the day of his arrest because it includes too much footage of officers driving. Ryan denied all of those objections.

After Miller fired his attorneys in May, Ryan ordered them to remain involved as stand-by counsel in case Miller is kicked out of the courtroom.

Miller could be sentenced to death if convicted.