Dakota County Attorney James Backstrom announced that Terrell Theo Payne, age 20 of Little Canada, pled guilty today to Murder in the Second Degree (Intentional-Aiding and Abetting), in connection with the July 9, 2019 fatal shooting of 21-year-old Lawrence Terrance Renfro at an apartment where he was residing in West St. Paul. Judge Tanya O'Brien sentenced Payne to 306 months in prison. The charge of Murder in the First Degree was dismissed.
Co-defendant Nathan Wesley Mcdonald, age 23 of Oakdale, pled guilty August 21, 2020, to Murder in the Second Degree (Intentional-Aiding and Abetting), and his case is pending sentencing, currently scheduled for November 5th at 9:00 a.m. in Hastings.
The criminal complaint in this case revealed the following:
On the morning of July 9, 2019, a friend of Lawrence Renfro went to the apartment where Renfro was then residing. The friend found the door to Renfro's ground floor apartment locked and when no one answered his knock, he walked to the bedroom window where he found the screen damaged. When he entered through the window he found Renfro deceased on a couch in the living room with Renfro's 2-year-old child sitting next to him. The friend took the child, exited the apartment and called police. During a search of the apartment, five 9mm casings were located. An autopsy was conducted of Renfro and it was determined that he suffered five gunshot wounds, including one to his head.
After his arrest on July 30, 2019, Payne told police that he and Mcdonald had gone to Renfro's apartment in the early morning hours of July 9th in Mcdonald's Chevy Malibu and attempted to enter the apartiment complex through the main door. After being unable to gain entrance through this door, they exited and went through the bedroom window of Renfro's apartment. Payne said Renfro woke up, told them to “get out of here", after which Mcdonald shot Renfro multiple times.
Additional facts pertaining to this case can be found in the criminal complaint at Criminal Complaint Search. Previous news releases are available at County Attorney News Releases. While in custody, a mug shot can be viewed at Inmate Search.
Backstrom commented: “We are pleased to have brought this man to justice for his part in this senseless and violent death. Our sympathy is extended to the family and friends of Lawrence Renfro for their loss."
Backstrom praised Cheri Townsend, Criminal Division Head and Cassandra Shepherd, Assistant County Attorney for their prosecution of this case. Backstrom thanked the West St. Paul Police Department for their thorough investigation of this case. If you have questions, contact James Backstrom at 651-438-4440.