Mays' plea postponed Friday in meth murder case

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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) -- Shane Andrew Mays was to make a plea on Friday tied to the North Topeka meth slayings case, but the plans stalled stalled when a co-defendant sought to withdraw his earlier pleas.

Mays, 21, next will appear in Shawnee County District Court on Oct. 24 before Shawnee County District Court Judge Steve Ebberts.

Mays is to be sentenced after the case of co-defendant Brian Joseph Flowers, 35, is completed.

On April 16, Flowers pleaded to two counts of felony first-degree murder to District Court Judge Nancy Parrish. In exchange for Flowers' guilty pleas, two counts of aggravated kidnapping, two counts of aggravated assault, and one count of aggravated robbery were dismissed, according to a plea agreement.

But on August 15, Flowers indicated he wanted to withdraw his pleas.

On July 29, 2019, Flowers attorneys Joshua Seiden and Blake Glover moved to withdraw as Flowers' defense lawyers. Flowers' new attorney is James Spies.

Flowers and his attorneys had "concluded that there exists insurmountable, fundamental disagreement as to some critical issues in this case." Flowers was to have been sentenced on August 14, 2019.

The judge granted the withdrawal motion of Seiden and Glover.

If Flowers was allowed to withdraw his murder pleas, Mays would have to testify against Flowers.
Mays is charged with two counts of premeditated first-degree murder in the deaths of Nicole Fisher, 38, and Matthew Leavitt, 19, according to court records.The third victim was Luke Davis, 20. The victims were Topeka residents.

The three slaying victims were smothered or strangled to death, all on March 12, 2017, in a house at 115 N.W. Grant.

According to an agreement with prosecutors, Mays would formally make pleas to one count of attempted second-degree murder and one count of aggravated battery rather than facing the two murder counts, District Attorney Mike Kagay said in June.

Kagay said Mays’ plea agreement doesn’t include how long the sentences for Mays would be. The sentences for Mays would be open for argument by the prosecution and defense attorneys before the district court judge would sentence him, Kagay said.

Mays, who was booked into jail on March 13, 2017, remained in Shawnee County Jail on Friday in lieu of a $1 million cash or professional surety bond, according to jail records.

Supporters of victims and Mays sat in the courtroom on Friday waiting to find whether Mays would make a plea on Friday or a later date.

Mays has a written agreement with prosecutors to testify against two co-defendants and for a plea to be entered into after the completion of his cooperation, a court document earlier said.

Mays earlier testified during the trials of co-defendant Kora L. Liles, 33, and Joseph P. Lowry, 33, each of whom was convicted of three counts of first-degree murder.

Lowry also was convicted of two counts of aggravated kidnapping, and one count each of aggravated robbery and aggravated assault.

On June 20, jurors also convicted Liles of three counts of aggravated assault; three counts of aggravated kidnapping; and one count each of cultivating, distributing or possessing methamphetamines and unlawful use of drug paraphernalia. The paraphernalia conviction is a misdemeanor, and the other 10 are felonies.

After pleading no contest to three counts of first-degree murder, Joseph Aaron Krahn, 35, was sentenced in November 2017 to three consecutive 50-year prison terms.