Defendant wants to withdraw pleas to two murders

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TOPEKA, Kansas (WIBW) -- A man who pleaded guilty in the killings of a man and a woman in a North Topeka meth house wants to withdraw those pleas, according to Shawnee County District Court records.

On April 16, 2019, Brian Joseph Flowers said "guilty" twice in the deaths of Matthew Leavitt, 19, and Nicole Star Fisher, 38. The third murder victim was Luke Patrick Davis, 20.

When Flowers, 35, made the pleas, it was three days before Flowers' jury trial was to start.

On Aug. 15, Flowers appeared before Shawnee County District Court Judge Nancy Parrish for a docket hearing, and Parrish scheduled Flowers to return to court on Sept. 19 for a motion hearing.

The victims' bodies were found in the basement of a meth house at 115 N.W. Grant on March 12, 2017.

The victims were strangled or suffocated.

After the pleas were made, District Attorney Mike Kagay said Flowers faced presumptive life sentences for each of the two slayings. In April, prosecutors were going to seek consecutive terms.

Besides the felony first-degree murders, Flowers also was charged with two counts of aggravated kidnapping of Leavitt and Fisher and one count each of aggravated assault and aggravated robbery.

But those charges were dismissed as part of a plea agreement with the Shawnee County District Attorney's Office.

Also, as a condition of the plea by Flowers, the prosecution dismissed an unrelated 2016 case.

If Flowers had faced a jury trial, prosecutors would have called three co-defendants to testify against him, a prosecutor said during the plea.

Of the other four defendants:

Jurors convicted Joseph P. Lowry, 33, in the three killings. Lowry was convicted of two counts of premeditated first-degree murder in the slayings of Leavitt and Davis; three counts of felony first-degree murder in the slayings of Fisher, Leavitt and Davis; three counts of aggravated kidnapping of the victims; one count of aggravated assault of Leavitt; and one count of aggravated robbery of Leavitt.

On July 5, Lowry was sentenced to two counts of premeditated first-degree murder and one count of felony first-degree murder, a total of 125 years. The two remaining alternate counts of felony first-degree murder were dismissed.

Lowry was sentenced to 12 years and 11 months in an aggravated kidnapping conviction; 12 years and 11 months for each of the other two kidnapping convictions and running concurrent to the first kidnapping conviction; four years and 11 months for the aggravated robbery of a car; and 12 months for an aggravated assault.

On June 20, 2018, jurors convicted Kora L. Liles, 33, of three counts of felony first-degree murder; three counts of aggravated assault; three counts of aggravated kidnapping; and cultivating, distributing or possessing methamphetamine; and unlawful use of drug paraphernalia.

Liles was sentenced on May 10 to three consecutive life terms of at least 25 years each in the murder convictions and 693 months for eight other consecutive convictions tied to the murders.

Joseph Aaron Krahn, 36, was sentenced Nov. 17, 2018, to three consecutive life terms of 50 years each for the killing of each victim. Krahn earlier pleaded no contest to three counts of premeditated first-degree murder.

Shane Andrew Mays, 21, faces two charges of premeditated first-degree murder, but those charges haven't been resolved.

As of Wednesday, Mays remains scheduled to appear in court on Friday to make a plea in the case, according to court records.