Shane Mays to stand trial for murder while defense argues “he did not help them kill anybody”

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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Three of the four suspects accused in a March triple homicide will stand trial. Two of them on additional charges.

The Shawnee County District Attorney filed additional counts of murder and robbery against Bryan Flowers and Joseph Lowry.

They also say that while the third suspect, Shane Mays, maintains he didn't kill anyone, his actions make him a part of the crime.

"There was testimony, and Mr. Mays said he put the bag on Nichols Fishers Head, and then he took it off," said Shane Mays’ defense attorney, Kathleen Ambrosio.

She argued he should not be put on trial.

"He did not help them kill anybody. He tried to do what he was told to do to save his life, but what he did was not go through with anything. Anything they attempted to force him to do," Ambrosio explained.

"This environment. Gun to his head. Threats being made for his life. Not disputing any of that. He was compelled to do it. I think that's the essence of her argument. Absolute compulsion,” said Chief Deputy District Attorney, Dan Dunbar. “And if compulsion was a defense your honor, he wouldn't have been charged. But compulsion is not a defense."

Judge Nancy Parrish agreed with prosecutors and bound Mays over for trial for the premeditated murders of Nichole Fisher and Mathew Leavitt.

Meanwhile, the District Attorney's office also added counts of kidnapping, robbery and murder against Bryan Flowers and Joseph Lowry. They, too, were bound over for trial.

Testimony suggested the murders stemmed from allegations by the woman who lives at the house, Kora Liles, that Leavitt raped her. A witness close to Liles later disputed that claim. Witnesses said she was told to leave before the murders occurred.

Liles is the 5th person to be charged in the case. Read her charges here. here.

Kagay said they had to wait to file additional charges.

"When we have the evidence at the beginning of the case, sometimes the evidence at a preliminary hearing, as that evidence begins to collect and we can support charges, then we can rely on that evidence and go ahead and make charges when appropriate," said Kagay.

Liles was currently jailed on Sunday, for a traffic warrant out of Jackson County, and additional holds.

Flowers, Lowery and Mays are charged in the murders of Leavitt and Fisher. Their trial dates are not set.

The fourth suspect, Joseph Krahn, is the only one charged with killing Leavitt, Fisher, and the third victim, Luke Davis.

His preliminary hearing is November 16th.

CORRECTION: Initial reports indicated Joseph Lowry's last name was spelled 'Lowery.' This story has been updated to reflect the proper spelling.