White supremacist takes stand in Jewish site shootings
Aug. 29, 2015
OLATHE, Kan. (AP) — A white supremacist charged with killing three people at Jewish sites in suburban Kansas City spent more than two hours Friday telling jurors how he planned the attacks and is sorry he didn't kill more people.
Frazier Glenn Miller Jr., who is acting as his own attorney, called himself to the witness stand and spoke of his military history and of how he started a group in North Carolina called the White Patriot Party. Miller also told jurors the prosecutor had a "slam dunk" and he knew they would put him on death row.
If convicted, Miller could be sentenced to death.
All the three exhibits Miller tried to introduce — a video of him in military uniform leading the White Patriot Party and two news articles — Friday morning were disallowed. Judge Thomas Kelly Ryan told him any similar materials likely would be as well.
After a nearly three-hour lunch break, Miller returned to the stand and told jurors he wanted to tell them more about why he wanted to kill Jews, but the court wouldn't let him.
Instead, he talked about an emphysema attack he had 10 days before the April 13, 2014, killings and his desire to "take out" Jewish people before he died.
He said he didn't initially know if he would have the courage to carry out the attacks, but afterward felt an exhilaration that dwarfed even the feeling of jumping out of airplanes when he was in the Army.
"I've been proud of myself for 15 months," he said.
The 74-year-old Aurora, Missouri, man is charged with killing 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.
He said his only regret was that he killed the teenager, who he thought was older. But under cross-examination, Miller admitted that he would have been fine with killing Reat if he had been Jewish.
He said he was justified killing the other two because they were Jewish sympathizers, adding that he thought the prosecutor and judge also associated with Jews.
"If I had known you and you were there, I would have probably shot you, too," he told District Attorney Steve Howe moments before finishing his time on the witness stand.
During Miller's testimony, Howe objected frequently and said Miller's comments were not relevant to the capital murder trial. As the judge sustained each objection, Miller appeared to grow more frustrated.
"I promised this court that I would not lose my temper," he said. "I'm doing the best I can."
Miller said that while he was carrying out the attacks he knew he might end up getting the death penalty.
"You guys are going to put me on death row. We all know that," he told jurors.
Miller, who insisted on a speedy trial even after his stand-by attorneys said that didn't give them enough time to prepare a legitimate defense, has at times seemed overwhelmed by legal proceedings he called "mumbo jumbo."
Capital murder trials in Kansas have a guilt phase focusing on evidence about the crime and a sentencing phase when defendants are allowed to present mitigating evidence — including what was on their mind at the time — intended to spare them from a death sentence.
After Miller finished speaking, testimony was concluded on Friday. Closing arguments will begin on Monday.