Elderly man allegedly stomped to death in Wyandotte County Courthouse after $400 dispute in small claims court

A 71-year-old man was allegedly beaten and stomped to death inside the Wyandotte County Courthouse earlier this month after a dispute over $400 in small claims court.

The incident occurred Oct. 5, though the victim, Lonnie E. Davis, died Oct. 14 according to an obituary.

Pierre Hamilton, 37, was initially booked into the county jail on suspicion of aggravated battery causing great bodily harm. His name also appears as a defendant in a $400 small claims case in which Davis was the plaintiff, a courthouse source has confirmed to The Heartlander.

The source said Davis had been stomped with a foot and was bleeding from the head.

It’s uncertain precisely where in the courthouse the beating occurred. A second courthouse source tells The Heartlander that entry to the courthouse was barred for the remainder of the day after the incident.

The small claims dispute was over damaged property, including a kitchen table, the first source said. The beating allegedly happened after a small claims docket in which multiple cases are either resolved or set for trial en masse.

There was no word this week on whether the charge against Hamilton would be upgraded to reflect the death of the victim.

The Wyandotte County Sheriff’s Office, which is in charge of courthouse security and is located inside the building, issued the following statement late Friday after multiple inquiries by The Heartlander:

“On October 5, 2022 at approximately 2:35 p.m., two individuals appeared to accompany each other within the courthouse. As they exited the building, an altercation ensued between the parties. Sheriff’s personnel interceded and the suspect attempted to flee. Responding deputies took the suspect into custody outside the courthouse. The investigation is ongoing and has been referred to the District Attorney’s Office.”

The statement does not address how such a killing could occur inside a courthouse within the proximity of security officers, or where inside it happened.

The obituary said Davis, known as L.D., “went to sleep to be with Christ our Savior” on Oct. 14.

Davis was born in the Argentine district of Kansas City, Kansas. He was a former deacon at St John Church of God in Christ and more recently a “faithful member” of New Jerusalem Pentecostal Church. The obituary says Davis joined the U.S. Army and “earned a Vietnam Service Medal, three Bronze Service  Stars and an expert Badge in Rifling M-16 Intelligence. He also completed NCO Leadership School.”

He had two children and several stepchildren, and had been married for 39 years before his death.

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