Frazier Glenn Cross, suspect in Kansas shootings, faces murder charges

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Frazier Glenn Cross, suspect in Kansas shootings, faces murder charges
Frazier Glenn Cross, who is also known as Frazier Glenn Miller, looks around after being wheeled into a Johnson County courtroom for a scheduling session on Thursday, April 24, 2014, in Olathe, Kan. Cross, 73, an avowed white supremacist, is accused of fatally shooting 69-year-old William Corporon and his 14-year-old grandson, Reat Underwood, on April 13 in Overland Park, Kan., and 53-year-old Terri LaManno at a nearby Jewish retirement complex. (AP Photo/The Kansas City Star, John Sleezer, Pool)
Frazier Glenn Cross, who is also known as Frazier Glenn Miller, is wheeled into a Johnson County courtroom for a scheduling session on Thursday, April 24, 2014, in Olathe, Kan. Cross, 73, an avowed white supremacist, is accused of fatally shooting 69-year-old William Corporon and his 14-year-old grandson, Reat Underwood, on April 13 in Overland Park, Kan., and 53-year-old Terri LaManno at a nearby Jewish retirement complex. (AP Photo/The Kansas City Star, John Sleezer, Pool)
Frazier Glenn Cross, who is also known as Frazier Glenn Miller, visits with his defense team after being wheeled into a Johnson County courtroom for a scheduling session on Thursday, April 24, 2014, in Olathe, Kan. Cross, 73, an avowed white supremacist, is accused of fatally shooting 69-year-old William Corporon and his 14-year-old grandson, Reat Underwood, on April 13 in Overland Park, Kan., and 53-year-old Terri LaManno at a nearby Jewish retirement complex. (AP Photo/The Kansas City Star, John Sleezer, Pool)
Frazier Glenn Cross, who is also known as Frazier Glenn Miller, visits with his defense team after being wheeled into a Johnson County courtroom for a scheduling session on Thursday, April 24, 2014, in Olathe, Kan. Cross, 73, an avowed white supremacist, is accused of fatally shooting 69-year-old William Corporon and his 14-year-old grandson, Reat Underwood, on April 13 in Overland Park, Kan., and 53-year-old Terri LaManno at a nearby Jewish retirement complex. (AP Photo/The Kansas City Star, John Sleezer, Pool)
Frazier Glenn Cross, also known as Frazier Glenn Miller, appears at his arraignment in New Century, Kan., Tuesday, April 15, 2014. Cross is being charged for shootings that left three people dead at two Jewish community sites in suburban Kansas City on April 13. (AP Photo/The Kansas City Star, David Eulitt, Pool)
Frazier Glenn Cross, also known as Frazier Glenn Miller, appears at his arraignment in New Century, Kan., Tuesday, April 15, 2014. Cross is being charged for shootings that left three people dead at two Jewish community sites in suburban Kansas City on April 13. At right is Michelle Durrett, attorney with the public defender's office. (AP Photo/The Kansas City Star, David Eulitt, Pool)
In this Sunday, April 13, 2014 image from video provided by KCTV-5, Frazier Glenn Cross, also known as Frazier Glenn Miller, is escorted by police in an elementary school parking lot in Overland Park, Kan. Cross, 73, accused of killing three people in attacks at a Jewish community center and Jewish retirement complex near Kansas City, is a known white supremacist and former Ku Klux Klan leader who was once the subject of a nationwide manhunt. (AP Photo/KCTV-5) MANDATORY CREDIT
This photo provided by 41ActionNews, shows Frazier Glenn Cross. Cross is accused of killing three people outside of Jewish sites near Kansas City, Sunday April 13, 2014. (AP Photo/41ActionNews) (AP Photo/41 Action News)
Investigators work behind a police line near the location of a shooting at the Jewish Community Center in Overland Park, Kan., Sunday, April 13, 2014. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)
A Kansas State Trooper controls traffic at the entrance of the Jewish Community Center after reports of a shooting in Overland Park, Kan., Sunday, April 13, 2014. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)
Kansas State Troopers stand outside a police line near the location of a shooting at the Jewish Community Center in Overland Park, Kan., Sunday, April 13, 2014. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)
An Overland Park police officer and Kansas State Trooper guard the entrance of the Jewish Community Center after reports of a shooting in Overland Park, Kan., Sunday, April 13, 2014. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)
A Kansas State Trooper stands near the location of a shooting at the Jewish Community Center in Overland Park, Kan., Sunday, April 13, 2014. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)
Map locates Kansas City where a gunman kills at least 3 people.; 1c x 2 1/2 inches; 46.5 mm x 63 mm;
The scene outside the Jewish Community Center in Overland Park, Kan., following a shooting on Sunday, April 13, 2014. (John Sleezer/Kansas City Star/MCT via Getty Images)
People, including many students from Blue Valley High School, gathered to mourn the victims of the shooting at the Jewish Community Center and Village Shalom during a vigil at St. Thomas The Apostle Episcopal Church in Overland Park, Kan., Sunday, April 13, 2014. One of the victims, Reat Underwood, was a student at Blue Valley High School in Overland Park. (Tammy Ljungblad/Kansas City Star/MCT via Getty Images)
Overland Park Mayor Carl Gerlach briefs the media on the shootings that occurred Sunday, April 13, 2014, at the Jewish Community Center and Village Shalom. A suspect in the shootings is in custody. (Tammy Ljungblad/Kansas City Star/MCT via Getty Images)
Police and crime scene investigators were on the scene of a shooting at the Jewish Community Center campus in Overland Park, Kan., Sunday, April 13, 2014. A pickup truck was of interest to crime scene investigators after the shooting. Two males were killed just outside the White Theatre on the campus. Police announced a suspect is in custody. (Tammy Ljungblad/Kansas City Star/MCT via Getty Images)
Police appear on the scene of a shooting at the Jewish Community Center campus in Overland Park, Kan., Sunday, April 13, 2014. Two males were killed just outside the White Theatre on the campus. Police announced a suspect is in custody. (Tammy Ljungblad/Kansas City Star/MCT via Getty Images)
Marshall McCarl, 16, mourned the loss of Reat Underwood, a classmate at Blue Valley High School who was shot and killed Sunday outside of the Jewish Community Center in Overland Park, Kan., Sunday, April 13, 2014. People gathered to mourn the victims of the shooting at the Jewish Community Center and Village Shalom during a vigil Sunday night at St. Thomas The Apostle Episcopal Church in Overland Park. (Tammy Ljungblad/Kansas City Star/MCT via Getty Images)
The scene outside the Jewish Community Center in Leawood, Kan., following a shooting on Sunday, April 13, 2014. (John Sleezer/Kansas City Star/MCT via Getty Images)
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OVERLAND PARK, Kan. (AP) -- Kansas prosecutors filed state-level murder charges Tuesday against the white supremacist accused in shootings that left three people dead at two Jewish community sites in suburban Kansas City.

Frazier Glenn Cross has been charged with one count of capital murder for the deaths of 14-year-old boy and his grandfather outside the Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City, Johnson County District Attorney Steve Howe said at a news conference. Cross also faces one count of first-degree, premeditated murder for the death of a woman who was gunned down while visiting her mother at a nearby retirement complex.

The capital murder charge carries the death penalty as possible punishment, Howe said, while the first-degree murder charge carries a life sentence with no chance for parole for at least 25 years. Cross is being held on $10 million bond, and is scheduled to appear in court at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday in Johnson County District Court.

Cross, a 73-year-old Vietnam War veteran from southwest Missouri, founded the Carolina Knights of the Ku Klux Klan in his native North Carolina and later the White Patriot Party. He is suspected of killing 69-year-old physician William Lewis Corporon and his 14-year-old grandson, Reat Griffin Underwood, outside the community center; both were Methodist. Moments later, Terri LaManno, a 53-year-old Catholic occupational therapist and mother of two, was gunned down outside a Jewish retirement complex where she was visiting her mother.

Federal prosecutors say there's enough evidence to warrant putting the case before a grand jury as a hate crime. Moving the case from state to federal prosecutors would likely mean tougher punishments if Cross is convicted, but U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom said Tuesday that federal charges in the case were likely a week or more away, and Cross' state case would have to be resolved before he could be moved to a federal trial.

"Our system is more nimble, we can move a little bit quicker than the federal system. We've alleged he came into the community I've been elected to protect. ... This isn't about retribution, this is about seeking justice," Howe said.

Cross shouted "Heil Hitler" at television cameras as he was arrested after Sunday's killings, which shocked the city on the eve of Passover and refocused attention on the nation's problem with race-related violence.

The Southern Poverty Law Center, a nonprofit that monitors the activities of known white supremacists, says Cross, who also went by the name Frazier Glenn Miller, has been immersed in white supremacy most of his life. During the early 1980s, Cross was "one of the more notorious white supremacists in the U.S.," according to the Anti-Defamation League, and served as the Carolina Knights' "grand dragon" before launching the supremacist White Patriot Party, the law center said.

By 1987, Cross was the target of a nationwide manhunt for violating terms of his bond while appealing a North Carolina conviction for operating a paramilitary camp. Federal agents tracked him along with three other men to a rural Missouri mobile home stocked with hand grenades, automatic weapons and thousands of bullets.

A federal grand jury indicted Cross on weapons charges and accused him of plotting robberies and the assassination of the law center's founder, Morris Dees. He served three years in federal prison, and, as part of a plea bargain, testified against other Klan leaders in a 1988 sedition trial.

Cross ran for the U.S. House in 2006 and the U.S. Senate in 2010 in Missouri, each time espousing a white-power platform. During his Senate run as a registered write-in candidate, Cross' effort to air anti-Semitic ads was scuttled by the Federal Communications Commission, which concluded Cross was not a "bona fide" candidate entitled to mandatory access to airwaves.

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