OLATHE, Kan. -- After less than two hours of deliberations, the jury decided on Tuesday that Frazier Glenn Cross should receive the death penalty.
Last week the jury convicted Frazier Glenn Cross last week of killing three people at two Jewish centers in Overland Park in April of 2014. William Corporon, 69, and his grandson, Reat Underwood, 14, died outside the Jewish Community Center in Overland Park. Terri LaManno, 53, died when she was shot outside the Village Shalom retirement home.
"I believe the criminal justice system worked effectively, and the people from the state of Kansas have spoken loud and clear," said William LaManno, Terri's husband.
Corporon family members also thanked the jury.
"Your positive actions and words of encouragement to us and to each other strengthen our belief that love kindness and understanding Will triumph over ignorance and hate. For our loved ones there is no greater legacy," said Tony Corporon, William Corporon's son.
During closing arguments Tuesday in the trial's sentencing phase, Johnson County District Attorney Steve Howe asked for the death penalty.
The 74-year-old Cross, an avowed anti-Semite, told jurors: "Frankly, my dears, I don't give a damn."
Cross claims he targeted Jewish centers to stop genocide against the white race. The white supremacist acted as his own lawyer and in discussing jury instructions, he claims he is more likely to be considered a martyr if he's put on death row. Initially, when the verdict was read, Cross turned his back to the jurors, but at one point he yelled, 'Death to the Jews.'
"Hopefully the nightmares will be over for a lot of people, and that we can all get back to regular normal lives and just remember love wins," said Jay Coombes, who survived the shooting.
"I have a lot of hate in me, everyone knows that," Cross said earlier in his final plea before the jury to avoid the death penalty. "I want to express it. I have a lot of hate. I want to have my say. I have a constitutional right and lawful right to do that."
The state has not carried out the death penalty since it was reinstated in 1994. Steve Howe, Johnson County Prosecutor, says formal sentencing is scheduled for November 10.
Complete statement from Jim LaManno:
Statement from the LaManno & Hastings Families following the sentencing verdict in the Frazier Glenn Cross Case
First of all, I would like to thank, Mr. Howe, Mr. McMullin, and all the ancillary staff in the District attorney's office. I would like to thank the jurors, the witnesses and all those who had a hand in this most repugnant case. I thank members of the media for the professional way in which they handled the sensationalism of this act and allowing my family privacy and time to grieve. I would like to commend The Kansas City Star for the insightful and well-written articles about this case. My family appreciated Mary Sanchez's candor and tell it like it is column regarding this case. I am in debt to my friend of 35 years, Tony Rizzo, who was given the unfortunate task of covering these proceedings. I would especially like to thank the law enforcement officers, who without them, our American way of life would be in jeopardy. I believe the criminal justice system worked effectively and the people from the state of Kansas have spoken loud and clear.
Three people's lives were taken needlessly because of ignorance and unfounded hatred. My wife lived an exemplary life displayed by her belief in God, her Catholic faith, and her belief in service before self. Regrettably, her life was taken way too soon. I want the people of the Greater Kansas City area to know that she did not die in vain, for her good works will continue to benefit children and students for generations to come. I thank the people of Kansas City and of the nation for your support and prayers for our causes to make our community and country a better place for all. Remember a small act of kindness causes a ripple that can change the world and make it a better place for all of us.
Statement from the Corporon and Losen families following sentencing verdict of Frazier Glenn Cross:
Today, we have witnessed justice in action.
We extend to the Jury our heartfelt gratitude for their time and attention throughout the trial.
We are grateful to the District Attorney's office for their diligence and advocacy on our behalf. We offer our gratitude to the witnesses in this case. We admire your bravery, courage and willingness to stand with us and stare down the face of hate.
We are very thankful for the continuing support from family, friends, the Greater Kansas City community and across the globe. Your positive actions and words of encouragement to us and to each other strengthen our belief that love, kindness and understanding will triumph over ignorance and hate. For our loved ones there is no greater legacy.
We remain strong in our conviction to God and we find comfort in the knowledge that His justice will prevail.