A virulent hatred of Jewish people that fueled his deadly shooting spree displayed itself fully Thursday as F. Glenn Miller Jr. finished testifying in the penalty phase of his capital murder trial.
“If I could push a button, every Jew in the world would disappear,” he told the Johnson County jurors who will decide if he should be sentenced to death.
Since Tuesday, jurors have listened to Miller expound on his anti-Semitic beliefs, which include an admiration for National Socialism and the idea that nonwhite immigrants should not have the same rights as white Americans.
Miller, who is representing himself, has one more defense witness to call Friday morning before resting his case.
District Judge Kelly Ryan said he intends to release the jury for the weekend after that witness and bring them back Tuesday for closing arguments and deliberation.
On Monday, the jury found Miller, 74, guilty of capital murder for killing three people on April 13, 2014, outside Jewish centers in Overland Park.
Miller drove from his Aurora, Mo., home to Johnson County, intent on killing as many Jews as he could while a high school talent competition was taking place at the Jewish Community Center, according to previous testimony.
Instead, he fatally shot three Christians: William Corporon, 69, and his grandson Reat Underwood, 14, outside the Jewish Community Center, and Terri LaManno, 53, outside the nearby Village Shalom retirement community.
Prosecutors are seeking a death sentence. Miller asked jurors to instead sentence him to life in prison.
But he told the jurors Thursday he believed they were going to sentence him to death.
“I’m not going to ask you for mercy, or pity,” he said.
He did offer an apology “to the three people who died” but added, “I do not apologize for my intentions.”
“I thought they were Jews,” he testified.
Under Kansas law, jurors must weigh “aggravating” circumstances presented by prosecutors against “mitigating” circumstances from the defense to determine the sentence.
Also Thursday, Miller presented testimony about his military record.
Also known as Frazier Glenn Cross Jr., he is a retired U.S. Army master sergeant who received several decorations for his combat record in Vietnam. A paratrooper, he served in the elite Green Berets.
Other proposed mitigating evidence was not allowed by Ryan. He denied Miller’s request to tell jurors about his offers to plead guilty before trial. Miller could argue that he accepted responsibility for the crimes but could not mention his attempted plea deal, Ryan ruled.
The defense also wanted to present testimony about how costly and lengthy it is to prosecute and litigate appeals in death penalty cases.
Prosecutors objected, arguing that the evidence was not proper because it did not pertain to the specific case or the defendant’s character.
Ryan denied the defense request.
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.
Day 7: Death penalty phase begins in F. Glenn Miller Jr.’s trial for killings outside Jewish centers.
Day 8: F. Glenn Miller Jr.’s son testifies that he loves his dad but not his hateful beliefs.