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Appeal of man convicted in 2017 of Topeka triple murder denied

TOPEKA (KSNT) — The Kansas Supreme Court unanimously upheld the sentences of a man found guilty in a triple homicide case in Topeka four years ago.

Lisa Taylor, a spokeswoman for the Supreme Court, said the court rejected Joseph Lowry’s argument that the court should have instructed juries on the option of convicting manslaughter instead of first-degree murder. Taylor says the facts of the case didn’t support Lowry’s thesis, there was a sudden and unforeseen fight that led to the murders.

The Supreme Court also rejected two other claims by Lowry involving showing crime scene and autopsy photos to jury, and a jury instruction regarding duress as a defense for crimes other than murder.

Lowry went on trial in 2019 for the deaths of Matthew Leavitt, 19, Nicole Fisher, 38, and Luke Davis, 20, of Topeka. He was found guilty of the following offences:

  • Two counts of first-degree premeditated murder in the deaths of Matthew Leavitt and Luke Davis.
  • First degree homicide committed in another dangerous felony involving the death of Nicole Fisher.
  • Three counts of aggravated kidnapping.
  • Aggravated theft.
  • Aggravated assault.

Lowry was subsequently sentenced to three life terms in prison. To read the Supreme Court’s full response to Lowry’s appeal, click here.

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