Crime

F. Glenn Miller Jr.’s preliminary hearing is postponed for competency exam

A Johnson County judge on Wednesday ordered a competency evaluation for F. Glenn Miller Jr., who is accused of killing three people outside Jewish facilities in Overland Park.
A Johnson County judge on Wednesday ordered a competency evaluation for F. Glenn Miller Jr., who is accused of killing three people outside Jewish facilities in Overland Park. The Kansas City Star

A mental competency evaluation was ordered Wednesday for the man accused of killing three people in an Overland Park shooting spree earlier this year.

Johnson County District Judge Kelly Ryan ordered the evaluation for F. Glenn Miller Jr. after meeting privately with Miller and his attorneys.

The defense request for the competency examination came Wednesday morning as prosecutors were set to begin presenting evidence in a preliminary hearing to determine whether there is sufficient evidence for the case to proceed to trial.

It would have been the first public airing of events surrounding the April 13 crimes outside the Jewish Community Center and Village Shalom care center.

But after meeting with Miller and his lawyers, Ryan said he had concerns about Miller’s ability to assist his attorneys in the case. Details of their discussion were not revealed in open court.

In Kansas, a criminal defendant must be able assist in his or her own defense and understand the nature of court proceedings in order to be competent.

After postponing the preliminary hearing, Ryan scheduled a Dec. 18 hearing to discuss results of the competency evaluation.

That prompted an outburst from Miller, who said he wanted a speedy trial.

“Too long. Way too long,” he said. “I don’t want it drawn out.”

The evaluation will be conducted by the Johnson County Mental Health Center. If Miller were to be found not competent, he would be sent to the Larned State Hospital and could be held there until he is found to be competent.

Miller, also known as Frazier Glenn Cross Jr., is charged with a single count of capital murder and faces a potential death sentence for the killings of Terri LaManno, 53, William Lewis Corporon, 69, and Reat Griffin Underwood, 14.

He also is charged with three counts of attempted first-degree murder for allegedly shooting at three other people during the incident. He also is charged with aggravated assault and discharging a firearm into an occupied building.

Corporon, an Overland Park doctor, and Reat, his grandson, were shot to death outside the Jewish Community Center, where Reat, a freshman at Blue Valley High School, was auditioning for a talent contest.

LaManno, an occupational therapist at the Children’s Center for the Visually Impaired in Kansas City, was killed a few minutes later outside the Village Shalom care center, where she had gone to visit her mother.

Miller, a 73-year-old southern Missouri resident, is an avowed anti-Semite with previous ties to the Ku Klux Klan.

During recent court hearings, he has espoused anti-Jewish sentiments. However, all three victims belonged to Christian churches.

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

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