Iowa man sentenced for fatally shooting neighbor during argument about lawn mower
04/21/2023 5:08 pm PDT
DES MOINES, Iowa (TCD) -- A 52-year-old man could spend up to five decades in prison for shooting and killing a woman during a disagreement about a lawn mower the victim sold him.
Court records show Nery Morales pleaded guilty Thursday, April 20, to voluntary manslaughter, burglary, intimidation with a dangerous weapon, and assault while partaking in a felony. A Polk County judge sentenced him to a minimum of 20 years and a maximum of 50 for fatally shooting Amber Burton in September 2021.
On Sept. 12, 2021, Des Moines Police responded to Burton’s home on the 900 block of Randolph Street and found her deceased on the couch with a gunshot wound to her chest, WHO-TV reports. Detectives looked at surveillance footage from Burton’s home and saw Morales approach the side door. Then, he shot her with a shotgun during an argument.
According to the Des Moines Register, Burton previously sold Morales a lawn mower, but she "repossessed" it because Morales still owed her money.
At the sentencing hearing, Burton's mother 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."
Burton was 42 years old and a mother of two.
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