Kansas City man accused of shooting neighbor after years-long dispute over lawn mowing

·2 min read
Andrea Klick/aklick@kcstar.com

A Kansas City man has been charged with murder after he admitted to shooting his neighbor, who later died, after the two argued for years over when to mow the lawn, the Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office announced Monday.

Samuel Avery, 42, was charged with second-degree murder and armed criminal action after allegedly fatally shooting 41-year-old Warner Trotter.

Officers responded to a call about several gunshots around 12:10 p.m. in the 3500 block of Garfield Avenue, according to police.

Charging documents filed by prosecutors say Avery also called police and said he shot his neighbor and “emptied the clip in him” after he said Trotter pulled a gun on him.

Police found Trotter on the front porch of a residence on Garfield Avenue with a gunshot wound in his head. He was transported to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead, police said.

Officers also encountered Avery at the scene and arrested him.

Records showed that police had previously responded to several disputes when Trotter said that Avery mowed his lawn too early in the morning, according to court documents. Avery later told police he and Trotter had been arguing for 10 years, and on that day, he said Trotter told him his lawn mower was too loud.

Court documents say a witness told police that Trotter was armed at the time of the shooting but never took out his weapon.

Detectives obtained a search warrant for both residences and also watched security camera footage from Trotter’s home.

According to investigators, the video showed Trotter saying something to Avery as Trotter entered his home. Avery then took out his firearm and shot at Trotter multiple times.

Trotter was not holding or reaching for a weapon at any time in the video, according to court documents.

Prosecutors requested Avery be held on $200,000 bail.