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Accused Jewish Community Center Shooter Likely To Present His Defense Thursday

Joe Ledford
POOL/Kansas City Star
Frazier Glenn Cross Jr. looks through his paperwork before the start of the third day of his capital murder trial on Wednesday, August 26, 2015, at Johnson County Courthouse in Olathe, Kan.

Accused Jewish Community Center shooter Frazier Glenn Cross Jr. had just one question for the state’s firearms expert, who testified for more than an hour.

“What are the chances I’m going to get those guns back when I’m exonerated?” Cross asked David Wright, a supervisor at the Johnson County Crime Lab.

An exasperated Chris McMullin, the deputy prosecutor, objected at once.

Cross, who is representing himself, had no further questions for Wright, who showed the jury the “pump” action on two shotguns found in Cross’ vehicle at the time of his arrest. Wright testified he was able to match spent shotgun casings found at the Jewish Community Center and Village Shalom to ammunition found in Cross’ trunk. Wright was also able to match spent rounds to a rifle in Cross’ possession on April 13, 2014.

The state’s evidence against Cross continued to mount Wednesday as testimony from forensic experts and crime scene analysts put him at the scene of the shootings that killed William Corporon, Reat Underwood and Terri LaManno. Cross continued to ask bizarre questions of the witnesses when it was his turn to cross-examine them.

Ross Capps, also with the Johnson County Crime Lab, testified that there was a one in “3.99 quintillion” chance that the DNA from a tissue sample taken from Cross’ trunk belonged to someone other than Corporon. Corporon’s DNA was also found on Cross’ pants, Capps said.

Cross asked Capps if it was possible to determine the race of a person from bones that were hundreds of years old.

When Capps replied it would depend on what condition the bones were in, Cross switched gears and asked Capps to describe their encounter at the Johnson County jail.

“How would you describe my demeanor?” Cross asked.

“Your demeanor was calm and cooperative,” Capps replied.

But Cross wasn’t cooperative at the end of the day Wednesday when District Attorney Steve Howe informed the judge the state would likely rest Thursday after calling just one more witness.

Cross complained the last three days have been very tiring for him and asked Ryan if he could have until Monday to prepare.

Ryan told Cross they would take the issue up Thursday but said it was “a little more than ironic” that he had demanded a speedy trial only to ask for more time.

Elle Moxley covered education for KCUR.
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