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An Iowa Woman Repossessed A Lawnmower She Sold A Neighbor After He Failed To Pay. So He Shot Her In The Chest.

iowa man sentenced shooting neighbor lawnmower argument
Source: Unsplash; Polk County

Apr. 24 2023, Published 3:01 p.m. ET

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A man in Iowa could spend up to 50 years in prison for shooting and killing his neighbor over a disagreement regarding a lawn mower the victim sold him, according to officials.

On Sept. 12, 2021, officers responded to the home of Amber Burton, a 42-year-old mother of two, in Des Moines and found her dead on the couch with a gunshot wound to her chest, according to WHO-TV.

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Detectives were able to obtain surveillance footage from the home that allegedly shows 50-year-old Nery Morales approach the side door and then shoot Burton with a shotgun during an argument, officials said.

Burton previously sold Morales a lawn mower, but then she “repossessed” it when Morales still owed her money for it, the Des Moines Register reported.

On April 20, Morales pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter, burglary, intimidation with a dangerous weapon and assault while partaking in a felony, officials said.

A judge in Polk County sentenced Morales to a minimum of 20 years and a maximum of 50 years in prison.

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During the sentencing hearing, Burton’s mother took the stand and said, "I understand Amber may have taken a lawnmower or some tools from you, and yes, that would make me angry, and that would be wrong of her if that happened, but this is one of the most stupid reasons I have ever heard to shoot someone."


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