After years of hostility, a Missouri man has been charged with fatally shooting his neighbor over lawn mowing.
According to the Jackson County Prosecutor’s office, Warner Trotter, 41, was fatally shot on his front porch on Monday. Samuel Avery, 42, of Kansas City, was charged with second-degree murder and armed criminal action.
Court documents show that Avery called the police on Sunday to report that he had shot his neighbor. He was quickly taken into custody after he was found sitting on the porch of the house next door.
It was reported that officers had been called to the men’s homes twice before because they argued over Avery mowing his lawn too early in the morning. During these incidents, no arrests were made. Avery told investigators that they had been arguing for about ten years.
Before the shooting, Trotter made a hand gesture as if he were threatening to shoot Avery after he complained about his lawnmower being too loud.
Avery said when he reported the incident to the police, they said there was nothing they could do. Shortly after, trying to intimidate Avery, Trotter waved a real gun around and said nothing would happen to him.
In the hours following, Trotter and another woman returned home with food from a restaurant. The woman told police she heard Trotter asking Avery, “Do you have something to say?”
Records show that Avery told police that Trotter reached for a gun before he began using his weapon.
According to the statement, Trotter was captured on camera speaking to Avery, then starting to enter the house as Avery fired several shots at him.
The probable cause statement claims that Trotter never reached for his weapon, which is supported by the footage. It was stated that before Trotter received medical attention, first responders took a firearm from his waistband.
In addition to his $100,000 bond, Avery must participate in a drug and alcohol dependency program, wear a tracking device, and not possess or be in the presence of any weapons while on house arrest.