This story discusses an incredibly rare situation of self-preservation. Self-preservation is an instinct given at birth to human and animals.
It is very real. It is not fiction or a script. This wasn’t a Hollywood movie and there are no stunts or super-heroes. At the end of this horrific event, 3 very innocent people were murdered.
I only ask that if you want to express your thoughts on this, please do it kindly and with respect. My son, myself, and our family have endured a lot of grief and pain.
The kidnappings and the brutal murders were caused by a false allegation made by a woman named Kora Liles.
Kora Liles (31) was a meth dealer out of her rental flop house on 115 NW Grant St., in Topeka, Kansas. She had consensual sex with a boy named Matt Leavitt (19) at her home.
At some point, word got out that Kora Liles was spreading rumors that Matt had actually raped Kora. Matt heard about what she was saying and said he doesn’t understand why she would say that because it was consensual.
On March 12, 2017, Kora had several people in and out of her home either doing drugs, buying meth or trying to trade a gun and watch to buy meth.
Kora had a sister named Jessica that was renting the basement area of the house. On that day, Jessica had visitors over to spend time with her and her boyfriend Logan. The vistors were a couple named Matthew “Mateo” Tilton and Nicole Fisher (38).
In court, Tilton told the court that he and Fisher went to the home at 115 NW Grant St. that was owned by Kora Liles.
Tilton confessed to Joseph Lowry’s defense attorney, Jennifer Chaffee, saying that he and Fisher went to the house to use meth.
He told the court that after waiting to get the drugs, he wanted to leave because he was tired, but Fisher did not. He said he left the home, while Fisher stayed at the house in the basement.
Tilton testified that Fisher had about 20 Xanax she wanted to trade for meth. About an hour after Tilton had left the home, he said Fisher called him saying she wanted to leave and go to his house in Oskaloosa.
Tilton said he didn’t want to drive back to the house in Topeka because he had just gotten home so he called his friend Matthew Leavitt.
Tilton said he offered Leavitt $35 to pick up Fisher and drive her to his house. He said Leavitt agreed to pick her up, asking if he could bring his “best friend” with him. At the time, Tilton said didn’t know who Leavitt’s best friend was, but said he later learned it was Shane Mays.
Tilton told the court that he called Fisher to let her know that Leavitt would be picking her up and that Leavitt asked her to be waiting for him outside. Tilton said Leavitt told him that he didn’t want to go into the house, but Tilton said he never asked why he didn’t want to go inside.
He said he was waiting for a phone call from Leavitt saying they were on their way to his house, but he never got one. Tilton tried to call Leavitt and Fisher, but never got in contact with them.
Shane Mays (19 years old) was hanging out with his very best friend Matt Leavitt (19 years old) when Matt got a call from a guy named Mateo asking if Matt would pick-up his girlfriend Nicole and he would pay him. Mateo said he was too tired to go out and get her himself. Matt said sure and asked Shane if he would like to go. Shane said yeah.
They arrived at a house rented by Kora Liles (31 years old). This is where Nicole was. It was about 11:30 p.m.
Instead of Nicole coming out, two men came out with guns and pulled out both Matt and Shane from Matt’s car. The two men were Joseph Lowry (31 years old) and Brian Flowers (31 years old).
Lowry was pointing his gun at Matt and told him to remove his tennis shoes and give him the the keys to his Pontiac G6.
Lowry then jumped into Matt’s G6 and took off with the car, leaving Flowers still holding up his gun and Matt and Shane.
“What am I suppose to do with them?” asked Flowers to Kora Liles. Kora said she will call Lowry to find out. Kora gets a hold of Lowry on his cell phone to ask what to do with the two boys.
“I don’t give a damn. Kill them. I don’t care.” Responded Lowry.
Kora held the door open, telling Flowers “Hurry up! Bring them in before anyone sees.” Flowers brought Matt and Shane into the house. They took their phones and pulled the SIM cards out. Matt and Shane had no weapons.
Lowry took off with Matt’s 2006 Pontiac GT to get rid of it.
The 2 were escorted to the basement where Nicole Fisher was being held. When Lowry returned, the men began to beat up Matt and accusing him of raping Kora. Kora took Shane upstairs. Shane asked Kora if he could leave because he doesn’t know what this is about. Kora said No.
A man named Joseph Krahn (34) was called to participate in the situation. Krahn got a ride from a man named Richard Folsom (26) who waited outside because Krahn said he would be right back out.
They brought Matt up from the basement and he was beaten up really bad. They sat him next to Shane. Then Krahn arrived with a tarp under his arm and Kora, Lowry, Flowers, and Krahn went to the kitchen to discuss killing Matt.
Shane overheard Kora tell them, “Make his friend do it.” Kora was referring to Shane.
They came back into the living room and sat down and began to smoked Meth while Matt and Shane sat there petrified. Kora put music on and began waving her gun around telling the boys to dance. The boys unwillingly got up and began to dance to the music she was playing. Then Kora told him to both remove their shirts while dancing. The kidnappers and Kora laughed at them.
As Folsom waited outside for Krahn, a man named Luke Davis passed by Folsom (waiting in the truck). Davis was heading toward the house. Folsom told Davis he really shouldn’t head to the house because he thinks there is something going on. Davis proceeded to the house anyway.
Davis knocked on the door. Kora answered. Davis came to ask if someone give him a ride to his girlfriend’s house. Krahn pulled Davis in the house and made him sit by on his knees. Davis’ hands were then tied behind his back.
Folsom came in through the back door after giving up waiting in the truck. When he came into the living room, he realized what was going on and became terrified. Folsom said he saw Matt and Shane crying, praying and begging for their life.
Kora was told to leave the house so the killings can begin. She was instructed to go to Walmart and get on camera so she would not appear to be involved with the murders to take place. She then left with Flowers, the man who participated with the kidnapping.
Shortly after Kora and Flowers left the home, Davis had quietly broken free of his tie straps around his wrists but continued to sit.
A moment came for Davis to try and make a break for the front door. As Davis got to the door, he was caught by Krahn and Lowry. Some hollering occurred and Krahn pulled out his knife and stabbed Davis. This all was happening right next to Shane and Matt. Krahn grabbed a rotary fan off a table and began to strangle Davis with the cord until he was dead and left his body lying there at the front door.
Krahn then started to go after Nicole Fisher who sitting in an office chair with her hands tied with tie straps behind her back. But then Krahn turned to Shane and said, “You’re up. Time to get your hands dirty or I kill you.”
Out of pure fear after seeing Davis murdered, Shane got up a put a plastic bag over Fisher’s head and squeezed it for about 15 seconds. He took the bag off her head because he couldn’t do it. Shane began to beg and cry at Krahn to live. Krahn took the bag from Shane and suffocated Fisher.
As the body of Luke Davis lay by the door and Nicole Fisher’s body still in the chair, Krahn and Lowry began to head over to Matt. Matt began pleading for his life. Matt said his family can pay them money, up to $8000.00 if they let him live. But there was no deal to be made. They men were there to kill Matt, and Shane and murdered victims were at the wrong place at the wrong time.
Please remember that Richard Folsom, the man who brought Krahn to this house was watching this entire situation happen. He was completely unaware of Krahn’s intentions when Krahn asked him for a ride to this house.
In fact, Folsom had no idea that Krahn was this type of person. Krahn continued to threaten everybody in the room that he will kill everybody there who tells anybody about this. Krahn told Folsom that he will kill him and his dad. Krahn knew where Folsom’s dad lived. Folsom was very scared for his life, as well. Folsom knew Krahn would go do it. Folsom testified later in court that everybody in the room was afraid of Krahn. Folsom said he couldn’t leave or fight because both Krahn and Lowry had guns, and Krahn was carrying a big knife on his belt at his hip.
Krahn and Lowry began to beat up Matt very, very bad. Krahn told Shane to punch Matt in the stomach. Shane did as he was told.
Then Krahn told Shane to take the plastic bag again and put in over his best friend’s head. Shane did as he was told, but this time Shane was keeping the bag open in the back so Matt could breathe without anybody seeing. But only after a few seconds, Shane took the bag off. He couldn’t do it.
It was at this point, Krahn and Lowry began to kill Matt with their bare hands. Krahn was grabbing anything he could to get it around Matt’s neck and Lowry was twisting Matt’s neck in several attempts to break it. Krahn was able to get Matt’s head between his legs and began to squeeze down and Matt continued to fight. But Matt’s body eventually went limp and Lowry began to kick Matt’s body after he died.
The light of Dawn began outside and Shane remembers looking out the window wondering if he would get to leave that house.
The men then decided to take a vote on whether they should kill Shane. Shane was begged and pleading to live, saying he was getting married and had a child on the way. None of it was true.
What could only be a miracle for Shane when they decided to let him live. Krahn then told Shane, “Your one of the few who get to see me kill and live. Welcome to the Elite.”
Shane somehow thought that maybe because the sun was coming up, that they decided to stop killing – but he really didn’t know.
Krahn ordered Shane to clean up the blood that covered the front door. Krahn began to cut out big squares out of the blood-stained carpet with his knife.
Shane was also told to help move the bodies to the basement.
Folsom said he had to go take his dad’s truck back or else his dad will call the cops. Krahn finally allowed Folsom to leave.
Lowry called Kora to pick them up. Kora pulled in front of the house and picked them both up, including Shane. They kicked him out at the bridge of a boulevard intersection. He could not believe he was alive and became instantly relieved to not be held captive anymore. But then in pure fear, he thought they would change their mind again and turn the car around – so he took off running all the way home where he lived with his girlfriend, Emma.
Safe in the house, Shane was bawling at the foot of their bed where Emma was sleeping. As she awoke, all Shane kept repeating as he cried was “Matt’s dead. They killed Matt. Matt’s dead. They killed Matt.”
In complete disbelief, Emma thought he was crazy or making something up being out all night without answering the phone. Emma told him to lay down and they discuss it when she returns from work.
Shane stayed in the house, afraid to leave. Upon Emma’s return, Shane told Emma and her parents everything that happened. They all went to the Police Department to report it.
At the police station, Shane had to repeat this story over and over again as more police officers surrounded him. They all thought he was crazy. Shane kept explaining that Matt took him to this house so he didn’t know exactly where it was but can describe it, and the men who did this Shane didn’t know them either, but he told police they called each other “Boston” and “Jo-jo.” He was able to identify them through mugshots.
Although Shane was apprehensive to tell detectives about what the men told Shane to do, Shane did fully explain that they forced him to “get his hands dirty” in order to live. The Law does not defend Self-Preservation under any circumstance. You cannot put your life before anyone else’s ever and the District Attorney believed Shane did just that when he was forced to put the bag over 2 heads of people. Detectives realized his situation was grim, and that he was kidnapped at gunpoint, and went through a horrific experience, and was forced to do something he didn’t do, and they knew he didn’t kill them or hurt them and he came to the police station to report it. But in the District Attorney’s opinion, Shane is guilty.
Shane was placed under arrest for 2 counts of 1st degree, pre-meditated murder for the deaths of Matthew Leavitt and Nicole Fisher. At this point, Shane was in complete disbelief and shock.
Kora Liles, Joseph “Jo-jo” Krahn, Joseph “Boston” Lowry, Brian Flowers and Richard Folsom were all apprehended and charged with several felonies.
Richard Folsom: Murder charges were eventually dropped but, he was charged with Identify Theft and falsely reporting a felony during his detective questioning after capture. Folsom has later testified in court that he lied during initial questioning because Krahn was on the street and he was scared he would come after he and his dad to kill them both. Folsom testified at Kora Liles trials and continues to tell the Judge and Jury that Shane is innocent and a victim that night. Folsom will continue to testify at the Trials of Lowry and Flowers this Spring, 2019.
Shane was offered and accepted a plea deal after several offers from the DA. It was the most difficult decision he had to make. Shane chose to take the plea agreement because if he didn’t, he would not be able to testify as a key witness at the trials of Kora, Lowry, and Flowers.
Even though he was very certain the jury would find him innocent, he did not want to gamble his own life by the decision of other people. Jury decisions can be an unpredictable “wild card”. He already went through enough of that with the fate of life to be decided by other people.
Shane is scheduled for a hearing on May 9, 2019, after the trials are completed. At Kora’s trial, the prosecution asked Shane in court why he took the plea. Shane answered, “Because the story must be told.”