Judge denying fair trial, Frazier Miller says

28 Aug 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

F. Glenn Miller Jr. will begin defense case Friday in Jewish center killings.

OLATHE, Kan. – A Missouri man who says he killed three people in suburban Kansas City last year because he thought they were Jewish gets his chance to defend himself against a capital murder charge Miller admits driving to two Jewish sites in Overland Park, Kansas, in April 2014 with the intent of killing Jews. Prosecutors in Kansas rested their case on Thursday in the murder trial of a white supremacist after playing a recorded call in which he expressed surprise that the three people fatally shot outside two Jewish centers last year were not Jewish. Miller, also known as Frazier Glenn Cross Jr., 74, of Aurora, Mo., is accused of shooting and killing two people last year near a Jewish Community Center outside Kansas City as well as a third person in the parking lot of Village Shalom, a nearby retirement home. Shortly afterward, police arrested the Aurora, Mo., resident in a car carrying guns and ammunition that investigators later linked by scientific testing to the killing scenes.

Before resting their case, prosecutors played a recording of jail telephone call in October 2014 in which Cross can be heard saying he took a swig of whiskey in his car in celebration moments after the shootings. In the taped conversations played Thursday, it was clear that Miller knew his calls from the Johnson County jail to an unnamed person were being monitored and recorded. Those victims appeared in court this week – and had to endure cross-examination by the wheelchair-bound Miller. “I’m glad I didn’t kill you,” Miller told James Coombs, who testified about Miller shooting at him, putting a bullet hole in the leather satchel he wore slung across his body and four in his Honda Pilot. However, he objected to them being played Thursday because he said they may “tend to incriminate me.” District Judge Kelly Ryan overruled the objection.

Judge Thomas Kelly Ryan on Thursday told Cross he would not be allowed to present as evidence videos, books and articles that support his antisemitic views. Cross has asked few questions of the prosecution’s witnesses and has been admonished repeatedly by Ryan for expressing his views instead of asking questions. Then Miller asked him, “Are you a homosexual?” The defendant’s first question for a young female forensics expert: “Has anyone ever told you that you resemble Andy Taylor’s girlfriend [from ‘The Andy Griffith Show’]?” After lengthy testimony Wednesday from David Wright, a forensic firearms expert, Miller asked, “Do you think I’ll ever get my guns back when I’m exonerated?” When the prosecution objected, Miller had no further questions.

He complained that materials he needed had not yet been received, and he said he needed to rest from the “stress and exertion” of the past four days. The trial has gone more quickly than expected, but that’s because the defense has passed on cross examining many of the state’s witnesses and rarely even looked at pieces of evidence, instead simply dismissing items with a wave of his hand and saying, “No objection.” When he does ask questions, they have focused on race, religion and ethnic heritage. But Miller continually interrupted and argued with the judge, referring to court procedure as “mumbo jumbo.” Ryan warned that if Miller continued his disrespectful and disruptive behavior, he would be removed from the courtroom and the standby lawyers would take over the defense.

If the jury finds Miller guilty of capital murder, a second phase will be held to determine if he will be sentenced to death or life in prison without parole.

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