Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

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April 15, 2014

Supremacist faces murder charges in Kansas deaths

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 faces one count of capital murder for the deaths of 14-year-old boy and his grandfather and one count of first-degree premeditated murder for the death of a woman, Johnson County District Attorney Steve Howe said at a news conference.

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 of the Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City. Both were Methodist. Moments later, Terri LaManno, a 53-year-old Catholic occupational therapist and mother of two, was gunned down outside Village Shalom, a Jewish retirement complex where she was visiting her mother.

In Kansas, one of the narrow circumstances in which capital murder cases are pursued includes the intentional killing of more than one person in "the same act or transaction or in two or more acts or transactions connected together or constituting parts of a common scheme or course of conduct."

In this case, a single charge was applied to the deaths of Corporon and his grandson because the deaths occurred in a very short period of time as part of the same act, prosecutors said. LaManno's death doesn't meet the standard for capital murder, Howe said, but he would not provide details or evidence gathered in the case to explain why.

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