Johnson County D.A. files notice of intent to seek death penalty if Cross found guilty of capital murder

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Stephen Howe, Johnson County D.A. and Frazier Cross Jr, accused of killing 3 outside Jewish centers.

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — Stephen Howe, District Attorney of Johnson County, filed a notice to the Tenth Judicial District Court and to murder defendant Frazier Cross Jr., that prosecutors plan to seek the death penalty against Cross if he is found guilty of capital murder for the deaths of Reat Underwood, 14, his grandfather, William Corporan, 69, and Terri Lamanno, 53, on April 13, 2014 outside two Jewish centers in Johnson County.

In the document, which can be read in its entirety by clicking this link, Howe explains the circumstances that he says justify the death penalty sentence.

Among the reasons, Howe says Cross committed the crimes in an “especially heinous, atrocious or cruel manner.”

William Corporon and Reat Underwood

William Corporon and Reat Underwood

Howe also presented to the court the state’s proposed guilt phase verdicts to be presented to the jury. They include the following choices before the jury:

  • We the jury find the defendant not guilty in the death of William Lewis Corporon.

  • We the jury find the defendant guilty of the intentional second degree murder of William Lewis Corporon.
  • We the jury find the defendant guilty of the premeditated first-degree murder of William Lewis Corporan.
  • We the jury find the defendant guilty of capital murder as charged in Count I

  • We the jury find the defendant guilty of the premeditated first-degree murder of Reat Griffin Underwood.
  • We the jury find the defendant guilty of the intentional second degree murder of Reat Griffin Underwood.
  • We the jury find the defendant not guilty in the death of Reat Griffin Underwood.

  • We the jury find the defendant guilty of the premeditated first-degree murder of Teresa Rose Lamanno.
  • We the jury find the defendant guilty of the intentional second degree murder of Teresa Rose Lamanno.
  • We the jury find the defendant not guilty in the death of Teresa Rose Lamanno.
Terri Lamanno was the 3rd victim of the deadly triple shooting on Sunday outside Village Shalom and JCC.

Terri Lamanno was the 3rd victim of the deadly triple shooting on Sunday outside Village Shalom and JCC.

Cross also faces an attempted premeditated murder charge against Paul Temme,Mark Brodkey, James Coombes, and an aggravated assault charge against Margaret Hunker.

Finally, Howe also presented to the court the State’s recommended jury instructions. In part, Howe explains how death penalties are carried out in the state, in the event the jury finds Cross guilty of capital murder.

If the jury unanimously concludes that the defendant is guilty of capital murder, then the second phase begins in which the same jury decides whether the defendant should be sentenced to death. The jury will be separately instructed concerning the claims that must be proved in order for the death penalty to be imposed. The jury will also be instructed at that time that the defendant will be sentenced to imprisonment for life with no possibility of parole if a sentence of death is not imposed. A defendant found guilty of capital murder may not be sentence to death unless the jury unanimously finds beyond a reasonable doubt that there are one or more aggravating circumstances present and that they are not outweighed by any mitigating circumstances found to exist.

The instructions amount to 39 pages. Click here to read the entire document.