Decade-Long Dispute Between Two Neighbors In Missouri Over Lawn Mowing Ends In Murder, Officials Say

missouri suspect
Source: Kansas City Missouri Police Department; UNSPLASH

Aug. 11 2022, Published 1:00 p.m. ET

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A decade-long feud between two neighbors in Missouri over lawn mowing ended with one dead and the other behind bars, officials said.

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Police in Kansas City charged Samuel Avery, 42, on Aug. 8 with second-degree murder and armed criminal action in connection with the fatal shooting of 41-year-old Warner Trotter, the Jackson County Prosecutor’s office said, the Associated Press reported.

The previous day, Avery phoned 911 to report he shot his neighbor, court documents obtained by the outlet show.

Trotter suffered a gunshot wound to his head while on his front porch and was pronounced dead at an area hospital.

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Responding officers located Avery next door on his front porch and took him into custody.


The court documents state that the day of the shooting, the victim, Trotter, complained to his neighbor, Avery, that his lawnmower was too noisy and he allegedly made a gun hand gesture with his hand directed at him.

Avery said after he phoned police and was told nothing could be done, Trotter allegedly took out and waved around a real firearm.

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Hours after the incident, court documents state, Trotter returned home after going out to get food and a woman he was with went inside the home and heard him ask the suspect, Avery, if he had “something to say.”

She then heard shots ring out.

According to records, Avery claimed to officers that he shot Trotter after the victim reached for a gun.

Security video from Trotter’s home, however, allegedly shows that Trotter said something to Avery before the shooting but had started to enter his home and didn’t reach for a gun that was tucked in his waistband when Avery opened fire, a probable cause affidavit states.

According to the affidavit, Avery told detectives he and the victim had been arguing about lawn mowing for 10 years, with Trotter, at times, complaining Avery would cut his grass too early in the day.

Avery was placed on house arrest with his bond set at $100,000.


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