March 2, 2015 / 5:25 PM / 5 years ago

Witnesses testify against white supremacist charged in Kansas murders

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

OLATHE, Kan (Reuters) - A Kansas police officer testified on Monday about finding a young boy and his grandfather shot in the head outside a Jewish community center, the first witness of many planned for a hearing in the case of a white supremacist charged with killing three people in a Kansas City suburb last April.

As many as 22 witnesses could be called to testify in the case against Frazier Glenn Cross Jr., 74 as a judge weighs whether or not he should stand trial.

Cross was known to law enforcement as a former senior member of the Ku Klux Klan who had repeatedly expressed hatred for Jewish people when he showed up in the Kansas City suburb of Overland Park on April 13 and went on a shooting spree.

Cross, also known as Glenn Miller, is charged with capital murder in the killings of Reat Underwood, 14, and his grandfather William Corporon, 69, outside the Jewish center, and first-degree premeditated murder in the killing of Terri LaManno, 53, who was shot to death outside the nearby Village Shalom Jewish retirement home.

Overland Park police detective Marty Ingram testified Monday that he was off duty but working as a security guard at the Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City when shots rang out. He told the court that when he went into the parking lot to investigate he found Corporon and Underwood both shot in the head.

Ingram said he and other witnesses rushed to a nearby location where other officers had apprehended Cross, and he heard Cross say “Heil Hitler,” and then ask: “How many... jews did I kill?”

Though the victims were all shot at Jewish facilities, none of them were Jewish.

With several witnesses and other evidence to present, prosecutors have indicated the hearing could last three days, Johnson County District Court spokeswoman Lisa Taylor said. The judge in the case will decide if Cross should be arraigned and tried on the charges, and Cross would then enter a plea, Taylor said.

Cross could face the death penalty if convicted.

Writing by Carey Gillam in Overland Park, Kansas; Reporting by Kevin Murphy in Olathe, Kansas; Editing by Grant McCool

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