Man convicted of St. Paul homicide gets 25-year sentence

Almost exactly a year to the day of a shooting that left a man dead on St. Paul’s east side, the man charged for his death was sentenced to spend more than two decades in prison.

Court records show 28-year-old Tevon Antowon King was sentenced Wednesday to 306 months (25.5 years) in prison for the death of 36-year-old James Harmon. He was allowed 365 days of time already served.

As previously reported, King entered a Norgaard plea in April to charges of second-degree murder and first-degree burglary with a dangerous weapon. In exchange, prosecutors agreed to dismiss a second count of first-degree burglary.

King was also ordered to serve 68 months in prison for a burglary charge, but that will be served at the same time as the murder sentence.

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St. Paul officers responded to a report of gunshots on June 6, 2023, at a residence near the intersection of White Bear Avenue and Maryland Avenue East. Officers learned that a man had broken into the home and taken the residents hostage.

Officers then arrested King. Nobody in the home was harmed, but there was a bullet hole found in a door, according to a criminal complaint.

Hours later, a woman who lives at a home a few houses down from the break-in called 911 and said she found her roommate lying in bed with blood on his head and face. 36-year-old James Harmon was pronounced deceased at the scene.

According to court documents, officers found a shell casing at the end of Harmon’s bed.

The woman told police that she heard gunshots outside around midnight, with two shots sounding like they came from inside the home. However, her kids didn’t wake up and Harmon didn’t come out from his room, so she went back to bed.

Investigators determined that the shell casing in Harmon’s room matched the casing that was found inside the home that had been broken into, court documents state. The gun was also linked to cases in 2020 and 2021, one of which involved King shooting the gun into the air during an argument with his girlfriend and another where King’s father shot a dog.

King’s coworker told police that he had been hanging out with King the night before and drank and smoked marijuana. He said King thought people were following him and seemed to be having a mental breakdown, court documents state.

He decided to bring King and his girlfriend to King’s mother’s house, and while en route, heard multiple pops and saw a gun in King’s hands. The coworker said he believed King fired the gun out the back window of the car and that he told King and his girlfriend to get out of the car.

After King’s arrest, court documents state that he told police he couldn’t remember anything after leaving his coworker’s home and woke up to police holding him at gunpoint.

He also denied knowing Harmon or the woman but accurately described the layout of the home to officers.

When pressed about Harmon’s death, King again denied knowing him but said if Harmon was shot while sleeping, “that is an execution and [expletive] up.”