Convicted killer of three at Jewish Community Center dies in prison

The convicted killer of three people at the Jewish Community Center in Overland Park has died in prison, according to a statement from the Kansas Department of Corrections.

Frazier Glenn Cross Jr., who was convicted of the murder of three people at the Jewish Community Center, died on Monday, May 3, at the El Dorado Correctional Facility, according to a statement from KDOC.

He was serving a sentence for capital murder, attempted murder and firearms convictions.

Frazier Glenn Cross Jr. was an alias for Frazier Glenn Miller Jr.

Miller, an anti-Semite, shot and killed three persons in the parking lot of the Jewish Community Center on April 13, 2014, including a 14-year-old boy, Reat Underwood; his grandfather, William Corporon; and a woman visiting her mother at an assisted living center, Teresa LaManno. None of the persons he killed was Jewish.

Miller reportedly shouted “Heil Hitler” while in the back seat of a police car at the Jewish Community Center, following the shooting.

A preliminary assessment indicated that the cause of Miller’s death Monday was from natural causes, according to KDOC. The cause of death is pending an autopsy.

Miller was appealing his death sentence in a case heard before the Kansas Supreme Court on March 29 and 30. The decision was pending. Miller had represented himself at the district court trial.

According to information online from the Southern Poverty Law Center, Miller was the founder and former leader of the Carolina Knights of the Ku Klux Klan and the White Patriot Party, paramilitary organizations in the 1980s. He was a member of a neo-Nazi group in North Carolina. The group attacked and killed Communist marchers in Greensboro, North Carolina.

He later turned up in Missouri after serving a prison term. In 1987, he was in the Springfield, Missouri, area. He went to prison for another three years on a weapons charge, and as part of a plea deal he testified against other white supremacists, according to SPLC information.

He later ran for Congress in Missouri in 2006. He ran for the Senate in Missouri in 2010. While running for office he made anti-Semitic statements, according to the SPLC website.

KDOT to provide U.S. 69 expansion project updates at virtual public meeting tonight

The Kansas Department of Transportation, along with the Kansas Turnpike Authority and the city of Overland Park, will hold a virtual public meeting from 5 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 20, to update the public on the U.S. 69 expansion project.

Initiated last fall, the project is studying how best to reduce congestion along U.S. 69 between 103rd and 179th streets, according to officials. This project is in Johnson County.

At the virtual public meeting, project team members will discuss the alternatives considered so far including improving transit, increasing technology and using other strategies.

They also will explain why adding capacity – either non-tolled, general-purpose lanes or express toll lanes – best meet the project’s purpose and need based on the study team’s analysis. After the presentation, attendees may submit comments and questions.

To join the live virtual meeting, members of the public may visit the project website, www.69express.org, and follow links at the time of the event.

In addition to the virtual public meeting, a virtual open house will be available on www.69express.org from April 16 to 30.

A link on the home page – www.69express.org/public-information-meetings/ – will direct people to the virtual open house, where they can view project materials. Participants also can ask questions and provide comments through an online form that goes directly to the project team. The open house will provide the same information covered in the live public meeting.

Results from a survey and focus groups conducted in early 2021, as well as a comparison of the impacts of the tolled and non-tolled alternatives and next steps in the project schedule, will be available.

Anyone who requires special assistance or accommodations to attend the meeting or open house, would like printed copies of the meeting materials or needs more information, contact Kelsey Heavin at (816) 527-2468 or info@69express.org.

The U.S. 69 corridor is the busiest four-lane highway in Kansas, with heavy congestion during rush hours and at other times. Previous studies indicate that U.S. 69 congestion will increase significantly in the future as Overland Park grows to the south, with peak travel times projected to triple by 2040.

Project updates by clicking the News link on the website home page, following the project’s Facebook and Twitter pages and subscribing to the Project’s electronic newsletter. The Feedback section of the website also provides a link to a comment form.

Man who killed three at Jewish centers in Overland Park seeks to overturn his death sentence

Frazier Glenn Miller Jr., a self-avowed anti-Semite, testified that he drove to Overland Park from his Aurora, Missouri, home looking to murder Jews. None of his victims turned out to be Jewish.

by Dan Margolies, Kansas News Service

The man who said he was looking to kill Jews when he shot three people to death in Overland Park, Kansas, in 2014 is asking the Kansas Supreme Court to overturn his death sentence.

In oral arguments before the court Monday, a lawyer for Frazier Glenn Miller Jr. said that Miller should not have been allowed to represent himself in such a complex capital case and that prosecutors made improper closing arguments.

Miller was convicted of capital murder in August 2015 for the premeditated killings of 69-year-old William Corporon and his 14-year-old grandson, Reat Underwood, at the Jewish Community Center in Overland Park and the killing of 53-year-old Teresa LaManno at the nearby Village Shalom retirement complex.

A Johnson County jury also convicted Miller of three counts of attempted murder, aggravated assault and the criminal discharge of a firearm.

Miller, who also went by Frazier Glenn Cross Jr., insisted on representing himself at trial, although the court provided him with standby counsel. The self-avowed anti-Semite testified that he drove to Overland Park from his Aurora, Missouri, home looking to murder Jews. None of his victims turned out to be Jewish.

Miller’s appellate attorney, Reid Nelson, argued that Kansas’ capital murder statute allows a jury to consider only certain types of conduct by the defendant and not his state of mind or motivation when deciding whether to impose the death penalty.

He said that prosecutors improperly argued that Miller had committed a hate crime that was an aggravating factor suitable for consideration by the jury.

“Mr. Cross was entitled to a jury verdict that was not tainted by the prosecutors’ inflammatory comments,” Nelson told the seven justices of the Supreme Court in proceedings conducted via Zoom.

Nelson also argued that Miller should not have been allowed to represent himself because he had mental health issues that made him incompetent to represent himself in a capital murder case.

Johnson County District Attorney Steve Howe urged the court to uphold the death penalty for Miller, saying it “was created for cases like this.”

“I think the Legislature structured a limited type of cases to meet these criteria — the worst of the worst, as indicated by counsel — and I think they did this in this case,” Howe told the court.

During his jury trial, Miller frequently interrupted the proceedings, often railing against Jewish conspiracies and Jewish control of the government and media. Upon being sentenced to death, he yelled, “Heil Hitler.”

The Corporon family issued a statement on Monday, saying they lived with the events of April 13, 2014 “in our hearts and minds daily.” William Corporon, a retired physician, was Mindy Corporon’s father. Reat Underwood was her son.

In the wake of the killings, the family created the Faith Always Wins Foundation, which is dedicated “to promoting dialogue for the betterment of our world through kindness, faith and healing.”

“Regardless of the outcome of today’s legal hearing,” the family said in its statement “we continue to honor the legacies and memories of our loved ones, William Corporon and Reat Underwood. We are lifted by our faith in God, your kind words, and your prayers.”

Dan Margolies is senior reporter and editor at KCUR. He can be reached by email at dan@kcur.org or on Twitter @DanMargolies.
The Kansas News Service is a collaboration of KCUR, Kansas Public Radio, KMUW and High Plains Public Radio focused on health, the social determinants of health and their connection to public policy.
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See more at https://www.kcur.org/news/2021-03-29/man-who-killed-three-at-jewish-centers-in-overland-park-seeks-to-overturn-his-death-sentence