White Supremacist Convicted of Killing 3 at Kansas Jewish Centers

The New York Times/August 31, 2015

By John Eligon

Olathe, Kansas — A white supremacist was convicted of capital murder on Monday in the shooting deaths of three people a year ago at a Jewish community center and an assisted living facility in suburban Kansas City.

After a weeklong trial, jurors deliberated for about two hours before convicting Frazier Glenn Miller Jr., 74, a former Ku Klux Klan leader with a history of racist and anti-Semitic actions. Proceedings to determine Mr. Miller’s punishment were scheduled to start Tuesday morning. Mr. Miller could receive the death penalty.

Mr. Miller admitted to the shootings in court but said he had acted in defense of the white race. He represented himself, and Judge Thomas Kelly Ryan of Johnson County District Court repeatedly reprimanded him for racist and anti-Semitic rants.

Relatives of the victims sat in the front two rows of the courtroom as the judge read the jury’s verdict, and they remained stoic. As court officers pushed him into the courtroom in a wheelchair with two oxygen tanks attached, Mr. Miller pointed to someone in the front row and said, “Order me a case of Champagne and two hookers to celebrate.”

After the guilty capital murder count was announced, he said, “I think the fat lady has sung.” He then raised his hand in a Nazi salute and said, “Sieg heil.”

Mr. Miller was also convicted of three counts of first-degree attempted premeditated murder, one count of aggravated assault and a count of criminal discharge of a firearm. As jurors, who will also deliberate whether to sentence Mr. Miller to death or life in prison without parole, left the courtroom, the defendant said: “Y’all ruined my day. I probably won’t sleep tonight.”

Judge Ryan offered a stern reprimand, saying Mr. Miller should not be speaking to the people who will decide his fate. Judge Ryan set Oct. 30 as the sentencing date. Nine people are currently on death row in Kansas, but the state has not executed anyone since 1965.

Before the verdict was read, Mr. Miller spent much of his 30-minute closing argument on Monday afternoon explaining how he became what he termed an “activist for white rights.” He wrote on an easel, “Diversity is a code word for white genocide!”

“Everything I did for our people, to secure the existence of our people and the future of white children,” he told the jurors, all of whom appeared to be white.

Later, he urged the jurors to do their part in his crusade by acquitting him of all charges. “You can inspire tens of millions of our people and give them hope for the future,” he said.

Although Mr. Miller said in court that he wanted to kill Jews, none of the victims were Jewish.

On April 13, 2014, Mr. Miller pulled into the parking lot of the Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City in nearby Overland Park, Kan., where hundreds had gathered for a singing competition. He opened fire and fatally struck Dr. William L. Corporon, 69, and his 14-year-old grandson, Reat Underwood, a high school freshman. He then drove to Village Shalom, a nearby assisted living center, where he fatally shot Terri LaManno, 53.

Testifying last week as the only defense witness, Mr. Miller said he wished he had killed more.

Stephen M. Howe, the Johnson County district attorney, said in his summation, “Everything he did that day was with one intent,” to kill people.

Mr. Miller objected, saying he had said he wanted “to kill Jews, not to kill people.”

As Judge Ryan went through the instructions that he would read to the jury, Mr. Miller kept objecting, citing reasons including that the proceeding was unconstitutional and that “George Washington told me to.” Mr. Miller became so hostile at one point that Judge Ryan ordered him removed from the courtroom.

In his closing argument, Mr. Miller said he had been a white activist since 1957 because of things his father told him about Jews. Before the shooting last year, Mr. Miller said, he sat for six hours and contemplated what he was going to do.

“I was thinking of the ongoing, systematic genocide of white people by Jews,” he said.

Mr. Miller seemed resigned to his fate. “I’ll die alone in a cage,” he told the jury. “I’ll die a martyr, I hope.”

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