The loved ones of victims of the April 13 Jewish Community Center shootings took part in an announcement of a major community event to mark the first anniversary.
The announcement was held at 4 p.m. at the Church of the Resurrection.
Mindy Corporan, a family member of two of the victims, helped announce a faith walk, song contest and community gathering.
“We chose today to make this major announcement because the preliminary hearing was to begin in Johnson County for the man charged in this senseless killing of my son Reat and my dad and Terri LaManno, three innocent people,” she said. “We knew there would be a lot of negative news surrounding this, and we can't help but think negatively when something like this happens in our world. We want the public to know that there is more good in our world. We want to redirect that negative energy in a positive direction. We want people to know that faith always wins.”
They want to make sure that positive memories trump Frazier Glenn Cross' behavior in court Wednesday.
The avowed white supremacist accused in the fatal shooting of three people at two Jewish sites in Johnson County was ordered to undergo mental testing Wednesday, prompting him to accuse the judge of violating his right to a speedy trial.
Cross, 73, of Aurora, MO, is charged with capital murder in the attacks outside a Jewish community center and a nearby retirement home on the eve of Passover. None of the victims were Jewish.
Cross stayed vocal through what was supposed to be a preliminary hearing.
"Your honor, I've got an idea, I want to waiver, sir ... sir ..." he was heard saying.
Cross spoke out of order and interjected while lawyers and the judge discussed a competency evaluation before proceeding with the preliminary hearing, which would be the first time evidence in the case is made public.
Johnson County Judge Thomas Kelly Ryan said Miller's attorneys indicated during a closed-door meeting that their client was having trouble assisting with "various aspects," bringing his competency into question, and that a determination needs to be made.
The judge scheduled a Dec. 18 hearing at 10 a.m. to discuss the results of the evaluation.
"I'm just going to leave the discretion of the court whether the burden of proof has been met. If it has we have absolutely no other choice but to ask he be evaluated by Johnson County Mental Health, schedule a hearing within 30 to 45 days to evaluate their report,” Johnson County District Attorney Steve Howe said.
That was directly followed by Cross.
“Too long, way too long," Cross interjected.
The move postpones a preliminary hearing set to determine if there is enough evidence to take Cross' case to trial. Cross arrived in a wheelchair and objected, saying that dragging out the case would help the prosecutor get re-elected.
"Thirty days - that's in contradiction with a speedy trial in my opinion. I want a speedy trial, not drawn out so that the DA can get the re-election," he said. "Why 30 days judge? Can I ask you that? Why 30 days? Why not a week?"
The mental evaluation assesses whether Cross understands the current proceedings. It is not an insanity plea in relation to the deadly shootings.
Cross is accused of killing Dr. William Lewis Corporon, 69, and his 14-year-old grandson, Reat Griffin Underwood, who were at the Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City for a singing contest audition.
He also is accused of fatally shooting 53-year-old Terri LaManno, who was visiting her mother at Village Shalom Assisted Living Center, a Jewish retirement home in nearby Overland Park.
Cross shouted "heil Hitler" at television cameras as he was arrested after the killings.
None of the victims' families were in attendance Wednesday.
Cross' attorney, Ron Evans, said Howe had indicated he plans to seek the death penalty - something Howe has not publicly acknowledged.
Evans is with the Kansas Death Penalty Defense Unit and had sought to push back the preliminary hearing, but Cross told the judge on Oct. 31 that he didn't want to wait.
Cross, also known as Glenn Miller, is a Vietnam War veteran from southwest Missouri who founded the Carolina Knights of the Ku Klux Klan in his native North Carolina and later the White Patriot Party.
He was the target of a nationwide manhunt in 1987, when federal agents tracked him and three other men to a rural Missouri home stocked with hand grenades and automatic weapons.
He was indicted on weapons charges and accused of plotting robberies and the assassination of the Southern Poverty Law Center's founder. He served three years in federal prison.
Cross 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.
The one-year anniversary event is being put together by The Reat Griffin Underwood Memorial Foundation/Faith Always Wins initiative, the LaManno Family, and the newly formed Racial and Religious Acceptance and Cultural Equality Foundation.
While still in the planning stages, this event will include a Faith Walk beginning from the Jewish Community Campus and concluding at the Church of the Resurrection (COR) in Leawood. A Celebration of Life will take place at COR that will include performances of the three top songs selected as part of RRACE's Songwriting Contest. Teens ages 14 to 21 are invited to submit original songs that address themes of racial, religious and/or cultural equality.
Contest details, including submission information, will be posted after the first of the year at www.faithalwayswins.org.
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