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Jury Selection In Accused JCC Shooter's Trial Expected To Take All Week

Elle Moxley

Jury selection began Monday in the trial of accused Jewish Community Center shooter Frazier Glenn Cross Jr.

Cross, who also uses the surname Miller, appeared in court wearing a suit and a Confederate flag tie. He asked the prosecutor, seated closer to the jury box, if he'd be willing to switch seats.

Johnson County District Attorney Stephen Howe did not reply. Cross is known for his anti-Semitic tirades, which Judge Thomas Kelly Ryan has warned could be grounds for a mistrial. Though Cross is representing himself, a team of death penalty experts is ready to jump in should the judge bar him from the courtroom.

Next, Cross asked Ryan to lift the gag order he placed on the DA right after the April 13, 2014, shootings at the Jewish Community Center and Village Shalom that killed three people in the interest of an "open trial."

Judge Ryan replied they could speak in court, but the gag order would remain in place.

Cross' next request was to forgo the standard jury instructions, which require potential jurors swear off media coverage of the case. He told the judge he wanted them to be able to do their own research.

"I'm going to be presenting evidence they're not going to believe," Cross said. "They'll dismiss me as a conspiracy nut."

"Your objection is noted for the record, Mr. Miller, and it is overruled," Judge Ryan replied.

Two hundred potential jurors were ordered to report to the Johnson County Courthouse in Olathe. On Monday, the judge only considered hardship cases, people who couldn't serve for medical reasons or because they had pre-planned trips they couldn't cancel.

Jurors were called into the courtroom in small groups to present their concerns to the judge in chambers. Just eight people remained from the initial group of 17. 

Jurors not dismissed Monday were told to report back Tuesday. Jury selection is expected to take most of the week. Twelve jurors and five alternates will be seated for the trial.

Elle Moxley covered education for KCUR.
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