Two accused of torture and murder of Liberty man

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Zachary Lisle

Zachary Lisle

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – A North Kansas City, Mo., man and a 16-year-old juvenile have both been charged with first-degree murder in the death of 58-year-old Mark A. Thomas.

Prosecutors charged Zachary M. Lisle, 20, and a 16-year-old juvenile male with first-degree murder, robbery, kidnapping and three counts of armed criminal action in connection with crimes committed against Thomas.

Mark Thomas

Mark Thomas

According to the Kansas City, Mo., Police Department Mark Thomas, 58, of Liberty, Mo., was reported missing to the Liberty Police Department early Saturday morning by his family. Then, just before 8 a.m. that same day, Kansas City, Mo., police were dispatched to a trailer park at 8801 NE 107th Terrace where family members of Thomas reported finding his vehicle. A large amount of blood was found inside the vehicle along with a knife and knife sheath. Blood was also visible on the truck's exterior.

Melba Conway, who said her daughter used to date Lisle, said on Saturday morning, Lisle and the juvenile suspect had dropped a bag on her front porch and then ran off.

“Picked the bag up and I brought it in the house, and that's when I found the bloody clothes,” said Conway in regards to the content of the bag.

About an hour later Conway said police found the two suspects hiding underneath her home.

“They found him under the trailer,” said Conway. “I was scared I had no idea he was there or why he was under my trailer or what he had done.”

Conway said she didn’t know the victim or his family but feels terrible for what has happened.

In a hand-written statement, Lisle said the "torture was senseless," before he said he and a juvenile friend had killed Thomas. He told police Thomas had offered him and his friend a ride home from Thomas’ residence in Liberty, Mo. on Friday night.

Lisle said he and his friend were armed with an air-soft gun and forced Thomas to pull over near 112th Street and Reinking, where he said he proceeded to hit and kick Thomas in the head, while his juvenile friend demanded Thomas’ ATM card and PIN.

According to the probable cause statement, the juvenile male (with his mother present) told police Lisle beat Thomas over the head with an unknown object after asking him to pull over. The juvenile told authorities he and Lisle moved Thomas to the back of the truck and then drove to an area near a pond. He said initially Lisle had poured gasoline on Thomas, but instead of setting him on fire, the two of them had placed Thomas inside a park bathroom. The juvenile said at this time Thomas was still breathing. He said he returned to the truck immediately but said Lisle stayed behind for several minutes.

When police questioned Lisle, they said he admitted to punching and kicking Thomas in the face and head. According to the probable cause, Lisle said he and the juvenile male drove Thomas to an ATM where they ordered him to give his PIN. Using his information they withdrew $200. Lisle told police they eventually drove Thomas to an area near Smithville Lake and put Thomas inside a bathroom stall. Lisle said at some point during the assault the juvenile male tried to cut off Thomas' finger with a knife in an effort to get his gold ring.

Police located Thomas' body inside the women's restroom early Sunday morning. Thomas was found lying on his back, his ankles bound by jumper cables, his head wrapped in a green bag with wire around it, and his left ring finger partially severed in an apparent attempt to steal his wedding ring. His body also showing signs he had been severely beaten.

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