Suspect in Jewish Community Center Shootings Appears in Court

The white supremacist accused of fatally shooting 3 people appeared before a judge today.
9:05 | 04/24/14

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Transcript for Suspect in Jewish Community Center Shootings Appears in Court
This is a special group. In court again the white supremacist who shot and killed three people outside a Jewish community center ten days ago in front of the judge again today but he did not interrupt -- Hello everyone I'm Michelle Franzen in New York. The government now building a case against a member of -- kkk a member that they knew all too well. When this story first broke -- were two names for the suspect Frazier -- cross and Frazier Glenn Miller. And that's because cross changed his name when he went -- to witness protection after becoming a federal informant. ABC's James Hill looked at the life of Frazier -- cross and his relationship with the federal government and joins us now. With more James thank you for joining us from Chicago first of all give us some background on the name change for -- cross and this all due to a new identity. Hi Michelle. Well Frazier Glenn Miller. Was born in 1940 and he is the one who became. The white supremacists. The Klan leader in North Carolina. Who became. A well known leader in the white nationalist movement. Around the mid eighties this Southern Poverty Law Center began investigating. Frazier and his organization. And they they sued him and they effectively. Forced him into an agreement to stop. His paramilitary activities and stop associating that what's perhaps supremacists. About a year later they. Cooperated with federal authorities to bring criminal charges against them because he continued doing what he had promised not to do. That prompted Miller. To go on the run and declare war against the federal government and and to put out. Effectively -- hit list. That he had asked his followers to take out blacks and Jews and homosexuals and sympathizers of the black race and -- attributed a point systems for each particularly. Person that could be taken out James -- talk. A little bit about some of his writings when he was Frazier Miller. Certainly you've uncovered some of the writings very fervent in his beliefs ready to die for is -- in 19901987. He wrote quote. I realize fully that I will be caught quickly but I will die with contempt on my lips and with sword and my hand. My fate will either be assassination or the death penalty as soon as he gets captured though he -- persuaded very easily it seems to become an informant for the federal government's. That's -- he was captured. In April of 1987. In Missouri it was about ten days after he had gone underground or as he called called it quote underground. And during the time he has a way he had mailed that letter that you quoted from which it called the declaration of war to thousands of people. And he had mailed it to members of congress. Major media organizations newspapers. And he called from the road he called the local radio station in North Carolina and basically said I'll call off the race war if the federal government. Agrees to my demands which were you know along a laundry list of demands from allowing him to return to his. Former role as a leader of the white patriot party being the principal one. But when he was captured it. It has tune changed dramatically and quickly he within days of his capture he was. Telling federal authorities that it was all -- laugh and he never expected anybody to believe him. He wasn't really taking himself very seriously. That he was just upset with how he had been treated by the federal government and is looking to quote blackmail them into giving him something back. So there was a case during that time where he received a shorter sentenced. And witness protection where does that case stand now you're learning new details about that. Well in. An 87 he. He he was facing the charges four four mailing that threatening letter. And that he was facing a number of other charges particularly for. A large cache of illegal weapons that he had been caught with a moment. Along with a couple of other of his. White supremacists Powell's. So he was facing number of charges which could have theoretically at least put him away for twenty to 25 years but he bargained that down. To five with an agreement to. Tell the feds and state prosecutors everything -- Everything he knew about his organization and other white supremacist. Organizations that were operating at that time. He spent about two and a half years -- I should say that that the the precursor. To that agreement of cooperation was -- told the -- that in order to do that. In order for him to tell them what he knew he required protection. He wanted to be placed in the witness protection program. And eventually the the authorities agreed to do that. So with that. How is it that of former and and and -- and also former kkk member is not being watched so closely after the fact. Well. It's an interesting question you know you put somebody in witness protection but who protects the rest of us from the witness right. You know there comes a time when if you know he was on parole for. A period of five years. After his sentence ended in 1990. So any you know any little. Violation of Esther -- would have sent him right back to prison so you know it stands to reason that -- in those first five years he would have been extraordinarily careful. It's not clear exactly when he decided to sort of just abandon this whole. Frazier cross identity and and and returned to. You know his. Public persona foot Frazier Miller the white supremacist but is it appears to be somewhere around the late ninety's and early 2000. And he moved to Missouri and he started putting out newspapers again and rejoining the Internet. Message boards that are frequented by. People of like mind and he was in some cases welcome back but in many cases he was considered. A traitor and he. And ordered. Fairly significant amount of abuse from the people in his movement James I want to read a little bit. More from some of what Frazier cross has written. Let the blood of our enemies flood the streets rivers and fields of the nation rise up. And throw off the -- with spying -- to this botanic Jewish controlled and ruled federal government. Let the battle -- swing smoothly and the bullets -- true it seems a little strange that the federal government wouldn't keep a closer watch but. They -- he -- was on their radar and he was also. On the radar of the Southern Poverty Law Center correct. Well it it's certainly true. That. Miller. Upon his re emergence as Frazier Miller. Was on the radar of people who monitor these groups. His re emergence was something of a major event. In that world because he had been gone for so long. It. Seems so many of the people I've talked to Michelle about this are effectively. -- it up very very shocked that Miller had actually or is allegedly. Involved in these murders. They considered him to be a blow hard somebody who talked a big game -- love to hear himself talk he sort of more like a let's talk radio type white supremacist and actually someone who. Acts on his hatred. There are a lot of people very surprised that he did it others not so much and and wished. That things had been different back in the 1980s when the feds had their hands -- And give me an idea what is next for the suspect and that those triple killings. Well he. You know he's just recently been given a a public defender. It's a death penalty case and so it's being handled by. The state. Death penalty bar in Kansas obviously a very serious case. -- lawyer has had limited time to speak to him so. He'll be given every opportunity to have conversations with his client before he's been before -- be required to enter a plea. -- he was in court today just for a couple of minutes. Nothing. Significance happened and they'll be back again. At the end of may for this next here. James Hill thank you very much for your insight on this case we will keep watch. As it develops. I'm Michelle Franzen here in New York you've been watching an ABC news digital special report.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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