Judge Denies Frazier Glenn Cross Internet Access, Trial Set For August
Update, 5:35 p.m.:
Attorneys representing the man accused of killing three people outside two Overland Park, Kansas, Jewish sites last year told a Johnson County judge Friday they'll need more than 150 days to prepare his defense.
But Frazier Glenn Cross Jr. disagreed, arguing he'd stand trial in 30 days if Judge Thomas Kelly Ryan would allow it.
"I asked about a speedy trial months ago," Cross complained to Ryan.
Kansas statute requires cases go to trial within 150 days of arraignment. Cross pleaded not guilty Friday to one count of capital murder in the deaths of William Corporon, Reat Underwood and Terri LaManno. He also pleaded not guilty to three counts of attempted murder, one count of aggravated assault and one count of criminal discharge of a firearm at a building or vehicle.
Mark Manna, one of Cross' attorneys, told the judge that he couldn't find a capital case in Kansas or any other jurisdiction that had gone to trial in fewer than 150 days.
He pointed out that in death penalty cases, a legal team must also prepare for a sentencing trial in case the jury convicts the defendant.
"We look at the entire life of a criminal defendant," Manna argued. "We look at their school records. We look at their hospital records. We look at their employment records."
For Cross, that would include compiling a detailed record of his military service – he was in Vietnam – as well as an extensive health history, as he has emphysema. During the arraignment Friday, Cross puffed on an inhaler and at one point used an oxygen tank.
Manna said that it was very likely his counsel would be found to be ineffective and possibly even unethical if a trial date was set within 150 days, which could be a problem for the state on appeal.
But Johnson County District Attorney Stephen Howe argued that it would be Cross' own fault, since his attorneys have advised him to waive his right to a speedy trial in order to give them the time they need to prepare.
"That's a self-inflicted wound," Howe said.
Ryan asked Cross if he understood he was acting against his attorney's advice. Cross again repeated an earlier request for internet access so he could fire his defense team and represent himself.
Ryan informed Cross he had already denied that request.
With jury selection, the trial is expected to take at least six weeks. Cross' defense team hinted it would likely seek a change of venue, as the shooting is well-known to people in Johnson County.
Update, 4:45 p.m.:
An Aug. 17, 2015, trial has been set for the man accused of killing three people last year outside two Overland Park, Kansas Jewish sites.
Frazier Glenn Cross Jr. was unwilling to waive his right to a speedy trial – Kansas statutes require cases go to trail within 150 days of arraignment, which was Friday – to give his defense attorneys time they say they needed to prepare.
The original post continues below.
A Johnson County Judge has denied the man accused of killing three people last year at Overland Park, Kansas, Jewish sites internet access while he awaits trial.
Attorney for Frazier Glenn Cross, Jr., who is also known as Frazier Glenn Miller, argued the defendant needs access to online anti-Semitic and anti-government forums to contact witnesses on his behalf.
“The kinds of witnesses he wants to contact are going to trust him not me, “ said Martin Warhurst, one of the three attorneys representing Cross.
“I prefer to never cold call potential witnesses if I want them to be cooperative,” Warhurst said.
But prosecutors – as well as an attorney for the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office – argued Cross could use other methods available to him, such as phone calls and visits, to secure witnesses who could testify to his state of mind on April 13, 2014, the day of the shootings.
Judge Thomas Kelly Ryan denied the request for internet access.
He said Cross’ attorneys had only shown the defendant wanted “to continue the access he had prior to being placed in custody.”
After the judge rule, Cross, appearing again in a wheelchair, exclaimed his right to a fair trial would be compromised.
“I fire these two attorneys,” Cross said. “I don’t trust these two anyway.”