TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) – The Kansas Supreme Court has upheld the first-degree murder convictions of a man in a 2017 triple homicide.
In October 2022, the state Supreme Court said it would hear the case of the Kansas State vs. Joseph P. Lowry. The court officially announced Friday, Feb. 24, that the court unanimously upheld Lowry’s convictions for her role in the murders of three people.
According to court documents, the bodies of victims Matthew Leavitt, 19; Luke Patrick Davis, 20; and Nicole Star Fisher, 38, were found in the basement of 115 NW Grant on March 12, 2017. They were found either strangled or suffocated, and the men had also been beaten.
The court says it rejected Lowry’s claims that the court should have given the jury the option to convict manslaughter instead of first-degree murder, however, the court finds that the facts of the case do not support this claim, the claim that the court should not have allowed the jury to see, was the crime scene and autopsy photographs. The court also rejected the claim that a jury instruction regarding duress as a defense for non-homicide offenses was inappropriate because, according to the court, the evidence did not show continued duress warranting such an instruction, and the court also stated that it showed Lowry had the opportunity to escape the situation.
Lowry isn’t the only person convicted of the triple murders. The other defendants found guilty of the murders include:
- Kora L.Liles
- Joseph Aaron Krahn
- Shane Andrew Mays
- Brian Joseph Fiori
Lowry was found guilty on all counts on March 27, 2019. The charges against him were:
- two counts of premeditated first-degree murder in the murders of Leavitt and Davis.
- three counts of first degree murder in the murders of Fisher, Leavitt and Davis.
- three counts of aggravated kidnapping of the three victims.
- one count of aggravated assault by Leavitt.
- one count of aggravated robbery by Leavitt.
Lowry guilty on all counts for 2017 triple murders
Less than two hours after beginning deliberations, Shawnee County District Court jurors on Wednesday convicted Joseph P. Lowry of the horrific killing of two men and a woman, who were either strangled or suffocated.