Man pleads guilty to murder in West St. Paul homicide

An Oakdale man has pleaded guilty to murder in connection to a man’s death in West St. Paul last July.

According to the Dakota County Attorney’s Office, 23-year-old Nathan Wesley McDonald pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in connection to the July 9, 2019, shooting death of 21-year-old Lawrence Terrance Renfro at an apartment in West St. Paul.

McDonald’s sentencing is set for Feb. 5, and the charge of first-degree murder will be dismissed at the time of the sentencing.

A jury trial for McDonald’s co-defendant, 20-year-old Terrell Theo Payne, is scheduled for Oct. 26. Payne is also charged with first-degree and second-degree murder.

2 arrested in West St. Paul homicide that killed a 21-year-old father

According to the criminal complaint in the case, on the morning of July 9, 2019, a friend of Renfro’s went to Renfro’s apartment. The friend found the door to the apartment locked and no one answered the door. The friend then walked to the bedroom window where he saw the screen damaged. When the friend entered through the window, he found Renfro dead on the 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 the police.

During the search of the apartment, five shell casings were found and it was determined that Renfro had suffered five gunshot wounds, including one to the head.

After Payne was arrested on July 30, 2019, Payne told police that he and Mcdonald went to Renfro’s apartment early in the morning on July 9, 2019, and went into Renfro’s apartment through the bedroom window. Payne then said that Renfro woke up and told them to "get out of here." Mcdonald then shot Renfro multiple times, according to Payne.