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Wednesday, December 7, 2016

By Tony Rizzo, The Kansas City Star

OVERLAND PARK, Kansas — Prosecutors on Tuesday filed two types of murder charges against a 73-year-old avowed racist and anti-Semite in the shooting deaths of three people outside Jewish facilities in Overland Park.

Frazier Glenn Cross Jr., who is better known as F. Glenn Miller Jr., is charged with one count of capital murder in the killings of 69-year-old Overland Park doctor William Lewis Corporon and his 14-year-old grandson, Reat Griffin Underwood.

They were shot outside the Jewish Community Center where Reat was auditioning for a talent contest.

Miller is charged with first-degree murder in the killing of Terri LaManno, 53, a Kansas City mother of three who was shot outside the Village Shalom senior living facility.

She had gone there to visit her mother.

A capital murder conviction carries a life sentence without parole unless prosecutors seek the death penalty, Johnson County District Attorney Steve Howe said. Under Kansas law, Howe doesn’t have to make a decision on seeking the death penalty until after a preliminary hearing, which could be several months away.

A first-degree murder conviction carries a life sentence with no parole possible for at least 25 years.

Miller, who was arrested about 20 minutes after the first shootings, is being held in lieu of a $10 million bond. The Aurora, Mo., resident made a very brief court appearance by video Tuesday afternoon from the Johnson County jail.

Asked if he could hire a lawyer or needed a public defender, he said, “I request — I don’t have the money.”

Magistrate Judge Dan Vokins appointed Ron Evans, head of the Kansas death-penalty defense team, to represent Miller.

During the hearing, Miller stood with arms crossed over his chest, holding a copy of the complaint in his hand.

He had arrived at the jail video room and left it in a wheelchair pushed by a sheriff’s deputy. He wore a tear-away jail uniform. According to jail records, he is being held in administrative segregation on suicide watch.

Vokins set Miller’s next hearing for 9:30 a.m. April 24, which will be a scheduling conference.

Though the killings happened at Jewish facilities, all three victims were Christians.

Howe announced the charges at a Tuesday morning news conference. He was accompanied by Barry Grissom, U.S. attorney for the District of Kansas, who said he was “comfortable” that his office can file additional federal hate crime charges, but he said he did not anticipate any federal charges “within the next week or so.”

“Before I make any decision, I want all the facts,” Grissom said.

Howe too, said that because the investigation is continuing, new evidence could result in additional state charges being filed.