Jury to weigh death sentence for Frazier Glenn Cross - KCTV5

Jury to weigh death sentence for Frazier Glenn Cross

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Frazier Glenn Cross Jr., who is representing himself, said he never denied the shootings, which he called "righteous" and "honorable." (POOL/File) Frazier Glenn Cross Jr., who is representing himself, said he never denied the shootings, which he called "righteous" and "honorable." (POOL/File)
OLATHE, KS (KCTV/AP) -

A jury will now decide whether a white supremacist who killed three people at two Jewish sites in Johnson County gets life in prison or the death penalty.

That same jury convicted Frazier Glenn Cross, 74, of capital murder and five other charges on Monday.

Cross has repeatedly been warned to watch his step with Judge Thomas Kelly Ryan, who twice removed Cross from the courtroom Monday. The judge again reminded Miller on Tuesday that his "rope is very short."

During opening statements in the penalty phase, assistant prosecutor Chris McMullin called Cross a "proud and remorseless killer that regrets only that he didn't kill more people."

The state took very little time to present it's evidence to try to prove "aggravating factors" needed to seek the death penalty. The state says there are two.

The first is that multiple people died and others could have. The second is that the killings were cruel, heinous or atrocious.

The April 2014 shootings 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. None of the three was Jewish. Prosecutors talk about LaManno's terror in the last moments of her life and the suffering she endured.

A detective, the prosecution's single witness, talked about the brochures that were created for the singing competition that Reat had entered and Cross reviewed. The prosecution emphasized to jurors that Cross knew this was an event where dozens of children and their families would be.

Cross, who is representing himself, said he never denied the shootings, which he called "righteous" and "honorable." He has expressed remorse for shooting Reat since he was a child and was a Christian.

The Aurora, MO, man, who also goes by Frazier Glenn Miller, will get the opportunity to present some evidence during the penalty phase about his beliefs and mindset that he was barred from discussing earlier in the trial.

White supremacist Alex Blinder testified on Cross' behalf. Blinder was frequently argumentative and dismissive and refused to answer questions about the innocence of Cross' victims.

"Do you condone murdering innocent people in the name of your cause," the assistant prosecutor asked.

"I won't answer that," Blinder said.

Blinder said Cross is a good man and jurors have been fed lies.

"I think you a funny, extroverted Southern man with a different background from my own," Linder declared.

Cross also had the jurors watch speeches from Louis Farrakhan and others.

His standby attorney, Mark Manna, said Cross had witnesses coming in throughout the week, with the latest to arrive Friday morning. They include family, a veteran with whom Miller served in Vietnam and two experts on the cost of the death penalty. The prosecution said the state would call just one witness, Overland Park Police Det. Laurie Bridges.

When the verdict was read Monday afternoon, Cross said "The fat lady just sang," and raised his arm in the Nazi salute. Although Cross admitted to killing the three people, he urged jurors to find him not guilty, saying he was motivated by "the genocide against my people by the Jews." He likened his cause to George Washington's fight for American independence.

During his closing argument, Cross said he had been "floating on a cloud" since the killings. Earlier, he objected when District Attorney Steve Howe alleged that he wanted to kill as many people as possible. Cross interjected: "I wanted to kill Jews, not people."

A death sentence could be largely symbolic; Cross has emphysema and has repeatedly said that part of what spurred him to carry out the killings was that he didn't expect to live long. Kansas has not executed a prisoner since reinstating the death penalty in 1994.

On Tuesday, Cross testified about the costs of putting him on death row, his poor health and the toll a death sentence would take on his family.

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 also ran for the U.S. House in 2006 and the U.S. Senate in 2010 in Missouri, each time espousing a white-power platform.

KCTV5's DeAnn Smith contributed to this report.

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

  • Jury to weigh death sentence for Frazier Glenn CrossMore>>

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    Jury finds Frazier Glenn Cross guilty of capital murder

    Jury finds Frazier Glenn Cross guilty of capital murder

    Tuesday, November 10 2015 8:52 AM EST2015-11-10 13:52:45 GMT
    A jury took less than two hours to find a white supremacist guilty of killing three people at two Jewish sites in Johnson County, promoting Frazier Glenn Cross Jr. to give them the Nazi salute. Prosecutors are asking jurors to impose the death penalty.More >
    A jury took less than two hours to find a white supremacist guilty of killing three people at two Jewish sites in Johnson County, promoting Frazier Glenn Cross Jr. to give them the Nazi salute. Prosecutors are asking jurors to impose the death penalty.More >
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