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Johnson County Judge Warns Frazier Glenn Cross Against Outbursts

Elle Moxley

Updated, 2 p.m. Wednesday:

A Johnson County judge issued a stern warning Wednesday to the man accused of killing three people last spring at the Jewish Community Center and Village Shalom.

“The jury needs to be able to consider evidence and not be able to tainted by your theatrics or outbursts,” Judge Thomas Kelly Ryan told Frazier Glenn Cross Jr. “There is a time and place for you to make your statements – within reason.”

Cross, an avowed anti-Semite, immediately asked the judge to clarify when he’d be able to speak freely.

“When you are under oath and subject to cross examination,” Ryan replied.

But, Cross wanted to know, would he be able to say “sieg heil” and make a Nazi salute to the jury? Doing so earlier had gotten Cross ejected from the courtroom for a long recess. No, Ryan said.

“Can I say ‘sieg heil’ before the jury comes in?” Cross pressed.

“No, not at any time in this courtroom,” Ryan replied.

Ryan wasn’t the only one Cross clashed with Thursday. He also yelled at a deputy sheriff and the head of his legal team. Cross is representing himself, but three death penalty experts are ready to jump in if needed.

That possibility seems increasingly likely, with Ryan warning Cross he’d be removed from the courtroom and forced to watch the proceedings on video if he couldn’t control himself.

Also Wednesday, Ryan turned down a request for a change of venue and clarified jury selection procedures for the trial phase, set to begin Aug. 17.

The original post continues below.

The man accused of killing three people last spring at the Jewish Community Center and Village Shalom continued his pattern of frequent outbursts in court Wednesday morning.

It's the final pre-trial conference for Frazier Glenn Cross Jr., an avowed anti-Semite who also uses the name Miller.

Wheeled into the courtroom, he called, “sieg heil,” the salute of the Nazi party.

Judge Thomas Kelly Ryan told Cross that type of behavior in front of a jury that could cause a mistrial.

“It's German for ‘hail victory,’” Cross insisted. “It's ‘good morning.’ How is that derogatory?”

“When you start arguing me when the jury is seated, you'll cause a mistrial,” Ryan replied. “If that's the case, it'll go forward without you.”

Cross again accused Ryan of being a Freemason and trying to curtail his freedom of speech. He began shouting that he earned his First Amendment rights while serving as a Green Beret in Vietnam.

Ryan abruptly called for a recess.

Jury selection will begin Aug. 17. More than 800 Johnson County residents are in the potential pool for a trial that could take up to six weeks.

Elle Moxley covered education for KCUR.
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