Friday 30 September 2016

Man sentenced to death for killing three at Kansas Jewish sites

Published 11/11/2015 | 04:51

Frazier Glenn Miller yelled
Frazier Glenn Miller yelled "Heil Hitler" and was removed from court after he was sentenced to death (/The Kansas City Star/AP)

Avowed anti-Semite Frazier Glenn Miller has been sentenced to death for the fatal shootings of three people at Jewish sites in Kansas.

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Johnson County District Judge Thomas Kelly Ryan impos ed the sentence on Miller, who was convicted of one count of murder, three of attempted murder, and assault and weapons charges for the April 2014 shootings in Kansas City.

The jury that convicted him in August recommended that Miller be sentenced to death.

"Your attempt to bring hate to this community, to bring terror to this community, has failed," the judge said before sentencing Miller to die by lethal injection. "You have failed, Mr Miller."

At the announcement, Miller yelled "Heil Hitler" and was removed from the courtroom.

Miller said he shot his victims because he wanted to kill Jewish people before he dies.

He suffers from chronic emphysema and has said he does not have long to live. A doctor testified during the trial that Miller is ill and probably has five to six years left.

All three of his victims were Christians.

He killed William Corporon, 69, and his 14-year-old grandson, Reat Griffin Underwood, at the Jewish Community Centre in Overland Park, Kansas.

He then shot 53-year-old Terri LaManno at the nearby Village Shalom retirement centre.

Thirteen people addressed the court, either in person or through written statements, including family members of the victims.

One of them was 13-year-old Lukas Losen, Reat's brother, who said he spent his 13th birthday at a psychiatric centre.

Few eyes in the crowded courtroom stayed dry as he described watching his grandmother "try to exist with a broken heart".

He said: "On that afternoon, I lost my childhood in a split second," his voice quivering as he brushed tears away.

Miller glanced at most of the speakers intermittently but did not keep eye contact, instead sitting silently with his hands clasped in front of him and his head bowed.

After the victim statements, though, he became defiant and spent nearly an hour talking about how Jewish people were running the government, media and Federal Reserve.

Family members and supporters of the victims walked out of the courtroom as he spoke.

He said his conscience forced him to do what he did, and he would attack more people if he ever got out of prison.

"I thrive on hate," he said. "If I didn't thrive on hate I would go crazy."

Also known as Frazier Glenn Cross, Miller is a Vietnam War veteran who founded the Carolina Knights of the Ku Klux Klan in his native North Carolina and later the White Patriot Party.

He also ran as a fringe candidate for the US House in 2006 and the US Senate in 2010 in Missouri, each time espousing a white power platform.

Miller, from Aurora, Missouri, represented himself at the trial and frequently disrupted procedures with outbursts at the judge, prosecutor and the jury.

He said during his closing argument in August that he did not care whether he was sentenced to death.

Kansas has nine other inmates on death row.

Although the US Supreme Court reinstated capital punishment in 1976, Kansas waited nearly 20 years before reinstating it.

The state's current law allows for death sentences in only a handful of circumstances.

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