Prosecutors have filed a death penalty murder charge against a white supremacist accused of fatally shooting three people at Jewish sites in Kansas over the weekend.
Frazier Glenn Cross, 73, also known as F Glenn Miller, was charged with one count of capital murder for the deaths of a 69-year-old physician and his teenaged grandson outside the Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City.
He also faced one count of first-degree premeditated murder for the death of a 53-year-old woman at the nearby Village Shalom retirement community where she was paying a weekly visit to her mother.
Riding in a wheelchair and wearing a dark sleeveless outfit, Cross made his first court appearance later via video link from a county jail, where he was being held in lieu of $US10.0 million ($A10.7 million) bail.
With his arms crossed, and a copy of the charges in his clinched hand, he accepted a court-appointed defence lawyer, saying he had no money to pay for his own attorney.
Magistrate Judge Dan Vokins told Cross to return on April 24 for a scheduling conference.
Sunday’s bloodshed – on the eve of the Jewish holiday of Passover – occurred in the Kansas City suburb of Overland Park.
All three victims were Christian.
Local police, FBI agents and federal prosecutors say they intend to pursue Cross for hate crimes, which under federal law calls for tougher sentencing.
Cross shouted “Heil Hitler” from the back of a police car when he was taken into custody Sunday.
The Southern Poverty Law Center and Anti-Defamation League described Cross as a North Carolina native and former US Army Green Beret commando who, in the 1980s, founded and led the Carolina Knights of the Ku Klux Klan and the White Patriot Party.
He spent three years in federal prison after being indicted on weapons charges and for plotting robberies and the murder of the law centre’s co-founder Morris Dees.
Conviction on a capital murder charge in Kansas entails a minimum life sentence without parole, but Johnson County District Attorney Steve Howe said he has yet to decide whether to go further and seek the death penalty.