The white supremacist accused of killing three people at a pair of Jewish centers in Kansas testified 25 years ago in Arkansas in a federal trial of a group of men ultimately acquitted of trying to overthrow the government.
Frazier Glenn Cross, 73, of Aurora, Mo., is being held on a preliminary charge of first-degree murder in the deadly attacks Sunday in Overland Park, Kan., the Associated Press reported.
Cross went by Glenn Miller when he testified in the federal trial of 14 men, including 10 charged with sedition and five who had been accused of conspiring to kill a federal judge and an FBI agent, according to newspaper stories from the time.
Miller, who once led the White Patriots Party in North Carolina, told a federal jury in Fort Smith that the late founder of another white-supremacist group gave him thousands in stolen money for his group, according to a March 11, 1988, story on the testimony written by The Associated Press.
About a year earlier, Miller said he was told by a federal judge in the case to testify at a grand jury, take the 5th Amendment or go to jail, according to an Arkansas Gazette story.
"This is like Communist Russia; you have no rights at all," Miller was quoted as saying of the proceeding in the Feb 27, 1987, story. " The whole purpose of this is to silence the White Patriot Movement."
Thomas Robb of Harrison, who is national director of the Ku Klux Klan, also testified at that grand jury, according to the story, but was upset he was not allowed to read a statement he had prepared that called the charge of attempting to overthrow the government "absurd."
"To believe that we (and I use the word "we" meaning those of us on the political right) are even remotely capable of overthrowing the federal government is ludicrous," Robb's statement said, according to the newspaper account. "Even if we so desired it, it would be no more possible than to have the town drunk to successfully pose as the Duke of Windsor. "
According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, a nonprofit civil-rights organization, Miller testified in the trial as part of a plea bargain in which he also spent three years in prison "on weapons charges and for plotting robberies and the assassination of SPLC founder Morris Dees."
The 14 defendants were ultimately found innocent of the charges in the federal trial. One of them, Louis Ray Beam Jr., raised a Confederate battle flag outside the courthouse and called the acquittal a "tremendous defeat" for the government, according to an April 8, 1988, newspaper account.
"I want to say to hell with the federal government," the story reported Beam as saying.
In addition to forming the White Patriots Party, Miller is a "former 'grand dragon' of the Carolina Knights of the Ku Klux Klan," the law center said on its website.