Crime

Death penalty phase next after F. Glenn Miller Jr. found guilty in Jewish center shootings

“I hope you’re happy,” F. Glenn Miller Jr. called to jurors Monday as they left the Olathe courtroom after finding him guilty of capital murder in the shooting deaths of three people on April 13, 2014, at the Jewish Community Center and Village Shalom retirement community in Overland Park. Arguments will begin Tuesday in the penalty phase of the trial.
“I hope you’re happy,” F. Glenn Miller Jr. called to jurors Monday as they left the Olathe courtroom after finding him guilty of capital murder in the shooting deaths of three people on April 13, 2014, at the Jewish Community Center and Village Shalom retirement community in Overland Park. Arguments will begin Tuesday in the penalty phase of the trial. along@kcstar.com

F. Glenn Miller Jr. calls himself a patriot. On Monday, a Johnson County jury called him something else: a murderer.

A Johnson County jury deliberated less than than two hours Monday before finding Miller guilty of capital murder in the shooting deaths of three people last year outside two Jewish facilities in Overland Park.

The 74-year-old avowed anti-Semite reacted to the verdict announcement with a Nazi salute and a “sieg heil.”

“I believe the fat lady just sang,” he said.

Acting as his own attorney Miller had argued that the shootings were justified because he was trying to stop “the Jewish genocide against the white race,” though all his victims were Christians.

The jury also found him guilty of three counts of attempted first-degree murder for shooting at other people on April 13, 2014, outside the Jewish Community Center and the Village Shalom retirement community.

Jurors convicted Miller of aggravated assault for pointing a shotgun at a woman and asking if she was Jewish. When she answered no, he put his gun away and fled.

They also found him guilty of firing numerous bullets and shotgun rounds into the community center.

Jurors began deliberating the case about 2 p.m. Monday and notified the court about 3:45 p.m. that a verdict had been reached.

As jurors filed from the courtroom after their verdicts were read by District Judge Kelly Ryan, Miller blurted out that they would have trouble sleeping.

“I hope you’re happy,” he said.

The outburst prompted Ryan to warn Miller that his “snide comments” would result in him being removed from the courtroom for the second phase of the trial, which will determine whether he is sentenced to death or to life in prison without parole.

The judge reminded Miller that the same jury he had just made comments to will be the ones deciding his sentence.

Ryan scheduled a sentencing date of Oct. 30 on the non-capital charges for which Miller was convicted. That provoked another outburst, when Miller said, “I’d just as soon be on death row than sit around here.”

The resident of Aurora, Mo., who also is known as Frazier Glenn Cross Jr., shot and killed Terri LaManno, 53, William Corporon, 69, and Reat Underwood, 14.

In the six-day trial, Miller admitted to the killings. In his closing argument Monday, he described his beliefs that Jews were attempting to replace the white race with people of color.

To begin his argument, he wrote, “Diversity is a code word for white genocide!”on a whiteboard.

Miller said that 48 years ago, his father first instilled in him the idea that Jewish people were seeking to destroy white people.

Miller said that after years of political efforts, he decided that “armed revolution was my only option.” Miller said he had hoped he would be considered a martyr and would die “with a smile on my lips” over what he did.

In his rebuttal, Johnson County District Attorney Steve Howe said Miller took the lives of three people who were only trying to live peacefully.

“He wants to be the one to decide who lives and who dies,” Howe said.

Howe told jurors that a “mountain of evidence” proved that Miller was guilty of capital murder and other charges.

“Clearly his mission was to kill as many people as possible,” he said.

Miller objected, saying he was trying to kill Jews.

The penalty phase of the trial is set to begin Tuesday morning.

Howe said that the prosecution plans to call only one witness and will rely on evidence already presented to argue that Miller should be sentenced to death.

Miller then will be able to present evidence. One of the standby attorneys who is helping Miller said Miller plans to call nine witnesses. Those witnesses include members of his family, two death penalty attorneys who will testify about the relative costs of capital punishment compared with life in prison, at least one medical doctor and a man who served in the Army with Miller in Vietnam.

Miller also is expected to testify and be allowed to present articles and videos that he says helped form his opinions about Jews.

Ryan also told Miller on Monday that he had “no slack left” as far as his courtroom behavior. The judge said one more instance of Miller talking to spectators or making snide comments would result in him being removed from the courtroom for the duration of the proceedings. If that were to happen, the standby lawyers would take over the defense.

Miller objected, saying it was an attempt to curtail his right of free speech.

He said that the outbursts were just part of his personality.

“I’m southern,” he said. “I don’t take things that seriously.”

Ryan said that Miller may think he is “cute” or “funny,” but he will be expected to abide by the rules of courtroom decorum.

Family members of the victims declined to comment Monday on the verdicts because the trial was not finished.

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.

To reach Tony Rizzo, call 816-234-4435 or send email to trizzo@kcstar.com.

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