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Terrell Payne Pleads Guilty To 2019 Murder Of Lawrence Renfro, Sentenced To 25+ Years In Prison

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- A 20-year-old Little Canada man has pleaded guilty to fatally shooting a man in his West St. Paul apartment in 2019, and has been sentenced to over 25 years in prison.

On Thursday, Dakota County Attorney James Backstrom announced the guilty plea of Terrell Theo Payne for one count of second-degree murder in connection to the fatal shooting of 21-year-old Lawrence Terrance Renfro. He has been sentenced to 306 months in prison.

According to the criminal complaint, on July 9, 2019, a friend arrived at Renfro's apartment, and after seeing the ground floor apartment locked, went to the bedroom window, where he found the screen damaged. When he entered through the window, he found Renfro dead on the couch next to his 2-year-old child. He took the child and left the apartment to call the police.

During the investigation, officials found five 9mm casings nearby. Renfro's autopsy later determined he had suffered five gunshot wounds, including one to the head.

After Payne's arrest on July 30, 2019, he told police that he and 23-year-old Nathan McDonald had gone to Renfro's apartment in the early morning hours of July 9. They had tried to enter the apartment through the main door, but were unsuccessful. Instead, they went through the bedroom window of Renfro's apartment.

Payne said Renfro woke up and told them to "get out of here." Then, McDonald shot Renfro multiple times.

McDonald pleaded guilty on Aug. 21 to second-degree murder, and his case is pending sentencing, which is scheduled for Nov. 5.

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