Twice during recent court hearings, the man accused of killing three people outside Jewish facilities in Overland Park has demanded to represent himself.
Both times, the judge has ignored requests by 74-year-old F. Glenn Miller Jr. to fire his court-appointed lawyers.
But on Thursday, Johnson County prosecutors argued in court filings that failing to honor the request could lead to a conviction being thrown out on appeal.
“This is unquestionably a terrible idea for him,” Chief Deputy District Attorney Chris McMullin wrote of Miller representing himself. “However, it is his right to do so.”
Based on appeals court rulings in other cases, the judge should question Miller in open court as to whether he wants to exercise his right to represent himself, McMullin said.
If the court determines that his wish is a “knowing and intelligent decision,” then it should be allowed, according to the state’s filing.
Miller, also known as Frazier Glenn Cross Jr., is charged with capital murder and faces a potential death sentence in a shooting spree last April outside the Jewish Community Center and Village Shalom care center.
A judge set an Aug. 17 trial date last week over the objections of Miller’s lawyers, who said they needed more time to prepare an adequate defense.
But Miller insisted on a trial within the 150-day time frame set by Kansas law, and he even told District Judge Kelly Ryan that he was ready to go to trial in 30 days if the judge would let him represent himself.
Miller has stated in writing that he does not trust his lawyers, McMullin noted.
When seeking permission to have Internet access in his jail cell, Miller wrote to the court: “If firing my attorneys is the only way to gain approval of this motion, then I herewith fire them. I will represent myself pro se.”
He went on to say that being able to contact potential witnesses personally “is 100 times more valuable to my defense than any number of government-paid attorneys, who I naturally distrust for blatantly obvious political and societal reasons.”
When Ryan denied the request for Internet access last week, Miller again said he wanted to fire his attorneys.
His next court hearing is scheduled for Friday, at which time the court could take up Thursday’s motion by prosecutors.