Cross: Confident white jurors will find him innocent - KCTV5

Cross: Confident white jurors will find him innocent

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Frazier Glenn Cross Jr. is representing himself in the capital murder trial stemming from the April 2014 killings in Johnson County. (POOL/The Kansas City Star) Frazier Glenn Cross Jr. is representing himself in the capital murder trial stemming from the April 2014 killings in Johnson County. (POOL/The Kansas City Star)

A white supremacist accused of killing three people at Jewish sites in Johnson County made it only a few words into the first sentence of his opening statement before an assistant prosecutor objected and jurors were removed from the courtroom.

Frazier Glenn Cross Jr. is representing himself in the capital murder trial stemming from the April 2014 killings in Johnson County.

The 74-year-old Aurora, MO, man, who also goes by the name Glenn Miller, attempted Monday to lay out a defense contending that Jewish people are committing genocide against the white race. All three victims were Christian.

Cross said, "If you believe our people have a right to survive on earth," that he is confident the white jurors' conscious "will find me innocent."

"I will provide genocide is being committed against white people," he said in his slow drawl.

The judge told him that he cannot argue about "Jews taking over the world" during the guilty or innocent phase, only during the penalty phase.

Cross has repeatedly admitted to killing William Lewis Corporon, 69, and his 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.

Assistant District Attorney Chris McMullin began his opening statement with what he said was a quote from Cross 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 (expletive) Jews. How many did I get?" McMullin quoted.

McMullin graphically described the wounds Corporon and Reat suffered as they were hit in the head with shotgun blasts at point-blank range. He spoke of LaManno, who was visiting her dying mother, being frozen in fear as Cross pulled a shotgun from the trunk of his car after a different gun failed to fire.

Thomas Bates is a combat medic in the Army and worked part time at Jewish Community Center. When he heard the shots he ran to his truck to get his gun and trauma bag.

"I grabbed my trauma bag, said a prayer and ran towards the gunshots," said Bates as he rushed to try to save Reat.

"Isn't it obvious when someone is shot in the head at close range with a shotgun that the shooter intended for the victim to die quickly without suffering?" Cross asked.

Bates didn't agree.

"My opinion anytime an individual uses a firearm, other than self-defense, the intention is to make that person suffer," Bates said. 

Prosecutors said Cross plotted the attacks for weeks and was armed with four guns to carry out his plan. They say Cross admitted his crimes to a friend and a jailhouse recording.

"I did it. I'm proud of it. I planned it. I plotted it. I schemed it," McMullin quoted.

McMullin objected before Cross could complete his first sentence for opening statements. 

Cross had told Judge Thomas Kelly Ryan earlier that he 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 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."

With the jury excused, Ryan warned Cross to only talk about what will be presented in trial. Not his motive.

Cross has said he is suffering from chronic emphysema and wanted to kill Jewish people before he died. He also has said he didn't know all three of the victims were Christians, or that the teenage victim was so young.

He argued that if he couldn't convince jurors 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 was to determine whether he committed capital murder.

Ryan also told Cross he couldn't present to jurors his belief that the mainstream media and the Federal Reserve are controlled by Jews or argue that Jewish people are committing genocide against the white race.

"What you're telling me is I'm not going to have a chance at all of being found not guilty," Cross said. "What in the world would make me do such a terrible thing? I will prove genocide is being committed against white people."

Cross told the judge he wants to the chance to explain to jurors his intentions on that day in April.

"I want to explain why I did what I did, what was in my mind, what was my intention. And there is a lot of stuff in my mind. Are you going to let me explain what was in my mind? What in the world would make me do something this horrible?" Cross said.

Cross is a Vietnam War veteran who founded the Carolina Knights of the Ku Klux Klan in his native North Carolina and later the White Patriot Party. He ran for the U.S. House in 2006 and the U.S. Senate in 2010 in Missouri, each time espousing a white-power platform.

Cross, who has no formal legal training or significant courtroom experience, fired his three defense attorneys in May. They are on stand by in case he has questions.

If convicted, Cross could be sentenced to death. He has said he was willing to plead guilty if the death penalty were to be taken off the table.

Cross told one witness that he was a brave man for chasing after him. Cross fired after Mark Temme but missed.

"I thought you were a brave man chasing me," Cross said while cross-examining Temme.

Eight witnesses testified Monday. Court is in recess and will pick back up at 9 a.m. Tuesday.

Copyright 2015 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) and the Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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