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Man given 25 years for fatal West St. Paul shooting

HASTINGS — A man accused of fatally shooting a West St. Paul father while the victim’s 2-year-old son slept beside him has been sentenced to more than 25 years in prison.

Terrell Theo Payne pleaded guilty to second-degree murder Thursday in Dakota County District Court. A first-degree murder charge was dismissed.

A co-defendant, Nathan McDonald, has also pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in the death of Lawrence Renfro in July 2019.

McDonald faces sentencing in November.

McDonald’s sister told investigators she had been living with Renfro, but moved out because he had been abusive. Days later, West St. Paul police found Renfro dead on the living room couch, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reported.

A friend alerted police after finding Renfro dead. His son was still sitting on the couch seven hours after Renfro was killed, authorities said.

Payne told police that he and McDonald had gone to Renfro’s apartment early July 9, entered through the bedroom window and found Renfro and his son asleep in the living room.

Payne said Renfro woke up and told them to leave, but McDonald shot Renfro multiple times.