Man charged in murder of Liberty man makes first court appearance

CLAY COUNTY, Mo. - A man suspected in the murder of a missing Liberty man over the weekend made his first court appearance Monday.

Zachary Lisle showed no emotion as he went before the judge at the Clay County Courthouse. He is facing a first-degree murder charge and kidnapping for the death of Mark Thomas.

Thomas's body was found in a bathroom stall at a restroom facility at Smithville Lake.

Thomas, 58, worked at the Liberty Community Center.

According to police, Lisle and a 16-year-old got a ride from Thomas and were supposed to head to North State Village mobile home park in Liberty. Thomas never made it home.

The evidence collected included bloody clothes, a knife, and several ATM withdrawal receipts.

"There's a lot of evidence that was collected and have to be tested," Clay County Prosecutor Dan White said.

White says the exact cause of death has not been released.

Lab reports and new information could lead to additional charges.

The judge entered a not guilty plea, which is said to be a standard procedure in a case like this.

Lisle asked for a public defender to represent him. His bond was set at $1 million and his next court date is on February 11.

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