A white supremacist had one desire before he died: to kill Jews. In a failed attempt, he killed three Christians.
A white supremacist accused of shooting and murdering three people at Jewish sites in suburban Kansas City made it only a few words into the first sentence of his opening statement before a state attorney objected and jurors were removed from the courtroom.
Frazier Glenn Miller, who is representing himself, told Judge Thomas Kelly Ryan earlier that he had twice offered to plead guilty to first-degree murder if prosecutors would take the death penalty off the table, but they refused. He started to tell jurors of those failed offers before assistant District Attorney Chris McMullin spoke up.
“If he wants to confess, that’s fine, but we can’t talk about things not in evidence,” the prosecutor said after jurors left the room. “If the state said that, there would be an immediate mistrial. We don’t want a mistrial.”
At multiple hearings leading up to the trial, Miller has admitted that he killed William Corporon, 69, and Corporon’s 14-year-old grandson, Reat Griffin Underwood, at a Jewish Community Center, and Terri LaManno, 53, at the nearby Village Shalom retirement center on April 13, 2014. All of the victims were Christians.
The prosecutor began his opening statement with what he said was a quote from Miller as he was sitting in a police car in a parking lot where he was found shortly after the shootings:
“My name’s Glenn Miller, I am an anti-Semite, I hate goddamned Jews. How many did I get?”
McMullin graphically described the wounds Corporon and Underwood suffered as they were shot in the head at point-blank range. He spoke of LaManno being frozen in fear as Miller pulled a shotgun from the trunk of his car after a different gun failed to fire.
Miller, also known as Frazier Glenn Cross Jr., said he is suffering from chronic emphysema and wanted to kill Jewish people before he died. He also said he didn’t know that all three victims were Christians or that the teenage victim was so young.
He argued that if he could not convince jurors that he had a valid reason for his actions, there was no way he would be acquitted. Ryan responded that the present phase of the trial was not the place to present evidence of his intentions, but to determine whether he committed capital murder.
“You are telling me that I don’t have a chance at all of being found not guilty?” Miller said. “I want to present my defense and explain why I did what I did.”
Miller, who has no formal legal training or significant courtroom experience, fired his three defense attorneys in May. If convicted he could be sentenced to death.