March 3, 2015 / 9:32 PM / 4 years ago

Judge orders white supremacist to stand trial in Kansas killings

Frazier Glenn Cross Jr, also known as Glenn Miller, sits in a Johnson County courtroom for a scheduling session in Olathe, Kansas, in this file photo taken April 24, 2014. REUTERS/John Sleezer/The Kansas City Star/Pool

OLATHE, Kan. (Reuters) - A Kansas judge on Tuesday ordered a Missouri white supremacist to stand trial on capital murder charges in the shooting deaths of three people outside two Jewish centers in a Kansas City suburb last April.

Johnson County District Court Judge Thomas Kelly Ryan found probable cause to believe that Frazier Glenn Cross Jr., 74, committed the murders as well as three attempted murders, following 1-1/2 days of sometimes harrowing testimony.

Cross, a former senior member of the Ku Klux Klan who had expressed a hatred for Jews, could face the death penalty if convicted on the capital murder charges in the shooting spree on April 13 in Overland Park, Kansas.

A public defender asked Ryan to delay Cross’ arraignment until later in March so he could advise his client and present evidence. Ryan set the arraignment for March 27.

Cross, who is also known as Glenn Miller, appeared in court in a wheelchair and used an oxygen tank. He had no verbal reaction to Ryan’s decision but made derogatory remarks about Jewish people as he left the courtroom.

Cross is charged with killing Reat Underwood, 14, and his grandfather William Corporon, 69, outside the Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City, and Terri LaManno, 53, outside the nearby Village Shalom Jewish retirement home. None of the victims killed was Jewish. 

Cross is also charged with attempted murder for allegedly shooting at three others outside of those two facilities.

Numerous witnesses testified to seeing the killings or being shot at themselves, identifying Cross as the gunman during the preliminary hearing. Cross’ attorneys called no witnesses.

Johnson County District Attorney Steve Howe declined to comment after the hearing. Attorneys for Cross were not available after the hearing.

Reporting by Kevin Murphy in Olathe, Kan., Editing by Peter Cooney

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