Crime

F. Glenn Miller Jr. deserves death for killings outside Jewish facilities, jury says

Melinda Corporon (left) hugs Jim LaManno on Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2015,on the steps outside the Johnson County Courthouse in Olathe. A Johnson County jury decided F. Glenn Miller Jr. should be put to death for the shotgun slaying of three people outside Jewish facilities in Overland Park in April 2014. Jurors a little more than a week ago found Miller guilty of capital murder in the deaths of William Corporon, 69, his 14-year-old grandson, Reat Underwood, and Terri LaManno, 53. Corporon was Reat Underwood's grandmother and William Corporon's wife and LaManno was Terri LaManno's husband.
Melinda Corporon (left) hugs Jim LaManno on Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2015,on the steps outside the Johnson County Courthouse in Olathe. A Johnson County jury decided F. Glenn Miller Jr. should be put to death for the shotgun slaying of three people outside Jewish facilities in Overland Park in April 2014. Jurors a little more than a week ago found Miller guilty of capital murder in the deaths of William Corporon, 69, his 14-year-old grandson, Reat Underwood, and Terri LaManno, 53. Corporon was Reat Underwood's grandmother and William Corporon's wife and LaManno was Terri LaManno's husband. along@kcstar.com

F. Glenn Miller Jr. killed three people, including a 14-year-old boy, without mercy or remorse.

And on Tuesday he told jurors in Johnson County he didn’t want any mercy from them.

He got his wish. After about 90 minutes of deliberation, the jury voted unanimously to sentence Miller to death for the April 13, 2014, fatal shooting spree outside Jewish facilities in Overland Park.

The 74-year-old retired Army green beret and self-described anti-Semite turned his back to the jurors as they re-entered the courtroom Tuesday afternoon after reaching a verdict.

After the verdict was announced, Miller turned toward them and said: “Thank you.”

But that attitude didn’t last.

As District Judge Kelly Ryan spoke to the jury to thank them for their service, Miller blurted, “You are a bunch of sheep.”

“Mr. Miller, that’s enough,” Ryan said.

“What are you going to do about it?” Miller asked before Ryan ordered him removed from the courtroom.

Throughout the two weeks of trial, Miller had continually tested the patience of Ryan, who had warned him numerous times about his disruptive and disrespectful behavior.

After sheriff’s deputies took Miller out of the courtroom, the judge set Nov. 10 for the formal sentencing hearing.

Eight days ago, the same jury found Miller guilty of capital murder in the shotgun slayings of William Corporon, 69, his 14-year-old grandson, Reat Underwood, and Terri LaManno, 53.

Corporon and his grandson were killed outside the Jewish Community Center. LaManno was shot a few minutes later outside the Village Shalom care center where she had gone to visit her mother.

Members of both families who were in the courtroom for the verdict gave brief statements later outside the courthouse in which they thanked prosecutors, police and the witnesses who testified during the trial.

Tony Corporon, the son of William Corporon and uncle of Reat, said the family was appreciative of those who had the courage to step up and “stare down the face of hate.”

“Love, kindness and understanding will triumph over hate,” he said.

William LaManno, the husband of Terri LaManno, also thanked jurors and all of those who had to be part of what he called “this most repugnant case.”

LaManno said the “ignorance and unfounded hatred” that fueled Miller’s actions were offset by the kindness of so many people throughout the Kansas City area.

LaManno’s friend, Brian Fowler, said the families were especially appreciative of the love and support they had received from members of the Jewish community after the killings.

Johnson County District Attorney Steve Howe, who tried the case with Chief Deputy District Attorney Chris McMullin, released a brief written statement, in which they offered thanks to the jury in their “speaking for our community.”

“Our thoughts and prayers continue to go out to the victims, witnesses, and family members impacted by those events,” the statement said. “Hopefully this verdict and completion of the trial will allow those impacted to begin healing.”

Earlier Tuesday morning, during closing arguments, Miller gave a lengthy screed about his anti-Jewish beliefs, repeating the same theme of his courtroom testimony during trial.

He dared jurors to sentence him to death, calling them “whores of the Jews.” He said he wanted no mercy.

He finished his presentation with a Nazi salute and a “heil Hitler.”

Howe told jurors not to buy into Miller’s “reverse psychology games.” He argued that the law and evidence of Miller’s “evil deeds” supported a death sentence.

Pointing to aggravating circumstances to support the death sentence, Howe told the jurors that Miller killed more than one person in a “heinous, atrocious or cruel manner.”

Mitigating circumstances to support a life sentence included Miller’s age, poor health, military service and his acceptance of responsibility.

Howe told jurors that they had seen first hand what a hate crime looked like. He argued it was the kind of case for which the death penalty was made.

“The defendant has shown a total lack of remorse and total contempt for anyone who dares to be different from him,” Howe said.

Last week, the jury also found Miller guilty of three counts of attempted first-degree murder for shooting at three other people that day outside the Jewish Community Center and Village Shalom retirement community.

Jay Coombes, one of those who escaped being shot that day, spoke after the verdict and said he believed justice was served by Tuesday’s verdict.

“Hopefully the nightmare will be over for a lot of people,” he said.

Though none of the people he killed was Jewish, Miller testified that he thought they were. He said he was trying to kill as many Jewish people as he could.

According to testimony during the two-week trial, Miller, also known as Frazier Glenn Cross Jr., drove from his home in southern Missouri in a car loaded with guns and ammunition.

He chose the date because a teen singing competition was being held at the center and he thought there would be a large number of people attending.

In the parking lot, he spotted Corporon and his grandson, who was a participant in the competition. Miller parked behind them, got a shotgun out of his car trunk, and shot Corporon in the head.

He then turned the shotgun on the boy and shot him in the head. Miller said he thought Reat was 20 years old.

Miller then fired numerous shots into the community center, before driving away. He went to the nearby Village Shalom where he encountered LaManno in the parking lot. He shot her at close range with a shotgun. He pointed the gun at another woman and asked her if she was a Jew. When she said no, he put the gun away and drove off.

Overland Park police arrested him a few minutes later.

“How many did I get?” Miller asked officers, according to testimony.

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.

Day 9: ‘If I could push a button, every Jew in the world would disappear,’ F. Glenn Miller Jr. says in court.

Day 10: Testimony complete in F. Glenn Miller Jr.’s death penalty trial.

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