Crime & Courts

Competency tests ordered in Kansas City Jewish site shootings

Frazier Glenn Miller Jr., also known as Frazier Glenn Cross Jr., is wheeled into the courtroom for a preliminary hearing Wednesday at the Johnson County Courthouse in Olathe. Miller is charged with capital murder in the April 13 attacks outside the Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City and a Jewish retirement home in nearby Overland Park.
Frazier Glenn Miller Jr., also known as Frazier Glenn Cross Jr., is wheeled into the courtroom for a preliminary hearing Wednesday at the Johnson County Courthouse in Olathe. Miller is charged with capital murder in the April 13 attacks outside the Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City and a Jewish retirement home in nearby Overland Park. Kansas City Star

After defense attorneys requested a competency evaluation for the man accused in three fatal shootings in Overland Park, a Johnson County judge postponed the man’s preliminary hearing as it was set to start Wednesday.

Prosecutors had expected to begin laying out their case against Frazier Glenn Miller Jr., who faces a potential death sentence if convicted of the shooting deaths of three people outside Jewish facilities on April 13.

The judge granted the defense request for a competency evaluation and set a competency hearing for Dec. 18.

After District Attorney Steve Howe told the judge that a competency evaluation typically takes 30 to 45 days to complete, Miller complained.

“Too long, too long,” Miller said. “I want a speedy trial. I don’t want it drawn out.”

Miller, also known as Frazier Glenn Cross Jr., is charged with a single count of capital murder in the deaths of Terri LaManno, 53; William Lewis Corporon, 69; and Reat Griffin Underwood, 14.

He also is charged with three counts of attempted first-degree murder for allegedly shooting at three other people. He also is charged with aggravated assault and discharging a firearm into an occupied building.

William Corporon, an Overland Park physician, and Reat, his grandson, were shot to death outside the Jewish Community Center where Reat was auditioning for a talent contest.

LaManno, an occupational therapist at the Children’s Center for the Visually Impaired in Kansas City, was killed a few minutes later outside the Village Shalom care center where she had gone to visit her mother.

Miller, a 73-year-old southern Missouri resident, is an avowed anti-Semite with previous ties to the Ku Klux Klan.

During recent court hearings, he has espoused anti-Jewish sentiments. However, all three of his victims belonged to Christian churches.

Prosecutors said they intend to call about 20 witnesses. Three days have been set aside for the preliminary hearing in front of Johnson County District Judge Kelly Ryan.

Howe has indicated he intends to seek a death sentence, although he is not required to give formal notice until after the preliminary hearing.

Reach Tony Rizzo at 816-234-4435 or trizzo@kcstar.com.

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