The day after obtaining a guilty verdict on capital murder charges, Johnson County prosecutors presented only brief additional evidence Tuesday on why jurors should sentence F. Glenn Miller Jr. to death.
They called on an Overland Park police detective, who showed jurors fliers distributed last year advertising a high school talent competition at the Jewish Community Center in Overland Park.
Those fliers drew Miller to the center, according to previous testimony, because he thought Jewish teens from across the country would attend. He wanted to kill as many Jews as he could.
The detective’s testimony followed opening statements during which chief deputy district attorney Christopher McMullin called Miller’s killing spree “heinous, cruel and atrocious.”
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He described Miller as “a proud and remorseless killer who regrets only that he did not kill more people.”
Pointing to Miller, he asked the jurors to sentence him to death.
Jurors on Monday found Miller guilty of capital murder in the April 13, 2014, shooting deaths of William Corporon, 69, Reat Underwood, 14, and Terri LaManno, 53, outside the Jewish Community Center and the Village Shalom retirement community.
All three were Christians.
This phase of the trial, called the penalty phase, will determine Miller’s sentence.
Miller, who is representing himself in Johnson County District Court, asked for life without parole. He talked about his age, 74, his emphysema and the impact a death sentence would have on his family. He also promised to present evidence on “mitigating circumstances good enough to outweigh” the prosecutor’s evidence for a death sentence.
“I want you to fully understand each piece of evidence,” said the anti-Semite with a long history in the white supremacy movement.
To start his defense, he took the stand and began showing a video of a former Illinois congressman talking about Israel’s influence on America. Miller then talked about his personal, failed attempts to seek elective office on a platform to unite white Americans.
“But trying to unite white Americans is like trying to herd cats,” he testified.
He compared his efforts to those of American colonists acting against British tyranny.
“They got their guns…” he said. “That’s what I did.”
A witness Miller called to the stand in the afternoon also talked about what he considered the vast Jewish influence on America.
At one point, McMullin objected to the testimony as irrelevant. Miller defended it by saying, “He’s expressing my beliefs.”
Earlier Tuesday, Miller grew argumentative as the judge explained how the penalty phase will unfold.
Miller sought assurances that he could introduce videos and other evidence without objection from prosecutors. District Judge Kelly Ryan would not grant that promise.
“I don’t know why we had a trial,” Miller said.
“You are on notice,” Ryan responded. “Your rope is very short if you don’t follow proper decorum.”
District Attorney Steve Howe, with the jury out of the courtroom, objected to Miller’s continual use of a wheelchair in the courtroom. The wheelchair, Howe said, created a “false perception of reality” when Miller often could be seen walking around his detention cell without his wheelchair.
Miller replied that he relied on medications that offered only temporary relief from his emphysema symptoms. Ryan said he would allow Miller to use the wheelchair when the jury was out of the courtroom.
Miller is the first defendant facing a possible death sentence to go to trial in Johnson County since serial killer John E. Robinson Sr. in 2002.
Courtroom officials expect two friends of the Miller family to testify on Wednesday, as well as possibly Miller’s son, F. Glenn Miller III.
According to Miller’s standby counsel, the two friends will be Dan Clevenger, a former mayor of Marionville, Mo., and Geraldine Perry of Aurora, Mo.
Clevenger resigned after making anti-Semitic comments after Miller’s arrest. The town’s aldermen had begun the process to impeach him.
Perry partnered with Miller in a dog breeding business.
The Star’s previous trial coverage:
Day 1: As the trial opens, F. Glenn Miller Jr. puts himself at the scene of the Jewish center shootings.
Day 2: Jurors view police video of F. Glenn Miller Jr. just after his arrest.
Day 3: Prosecutors are close to finishing the case against F. Glenn Miller Jr.
Day 4: F. Glenn Miller Jr. will begin his defense case Friday.
Day 5: F. Glenn Miller Jr. tells jurors he regrets not killing more people.
Day 6: Death penalty phase is next after F. Glenn Miller Jr. is found guilty in the Jewish center shootings.