2 men charged in fatal West St. Paul shooting

Terrell Theo Payne, 19, and Nathan Wesley Mcdonald, 22. Photo: Dakota County
Terrell Theo Payne, 19, and Nathan Wesley Mcdonald, 22.

Updated: August 01, 2019 02:54 PM

Two men have been charged in relation to a West St. Paul shooting that killed a 21-year-old father earlier this month. 

Nathan Wesley McDonald, 22, and Terrell Theo Payne, 19, have been charged with one count each of murder in the second degree (intentional-aiding and abetting) in connection with the fatal July 9 shooting of Lawrence Terrance Renfro at an apartment where he was residing, according to Dakota County Attorney James Backstrom.


According to a criminal complaint, at around 11 a.m., a friend of Renfro went to the apartment where he was residing when he couldn't reach him through calls to his phone. The friend found the door to Renfro's apartment locked and when no one answered his knock, he walked to the bedroom window where he found the screen damaged. He then entered through the window and found the deceased Renfro on a couch in the living room with his 2-year-old son sitting next to him. The friend took the child, exited the apartment and called authorities.

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

During a search of the apartment, five 9mm casings were located by police. An autopsy was conducted of Renfro and it was determined that he suffered five gunshot wounds, including one to his head.

The complaint states through further investigation, it was learned that the apartment was leased to McDonald's sister who had resided with Renfro until she moved out after an alleged "falling out" between them. McDonald's sister told police that Renfro had physically assaulted her prior to moving out of the apartment on July 6. She also told police about a prior altercation between her and Renfro that occurred on July 4, after her brother, Nathan McDonald, came to the apartment with some of his friends to confront Renfro. And during the encounter, the complaint states that one of Renfro's friends and McDonald's friends displayed guns.

Surveillance video obtained during the investigation showed a gray-colored sedan drive through the apartment complex parking lot "several times" around 3:45 a.m. on July 9. Police determined it was the same vehicle, a 2008 Chevrolet Malibu, that was registered to McDonald. Authorities found additional surveillance video from inside the apartment building showed two men dressed in dark clothing with hooded-sweatshirts enter the vestibule, walk up to the locked security door and then exit the building, walking toward the outside of Renfro's ground-floor apartment.

The complaint states a search of McDonald's phone revealed during the early morning hours on July 9, McDonald and Payne exchanged texts. On July 30, authorities conducted a search of the residence where McDonald was living and found a 9mm handgun, 9mm ammuntion, gloves, a black mask, black pants and black shoes. A search of McDonald's 2008 Chevy Malibu found 9mm ammunition, black pants and black gloves.

RELATED: Man found shot to death in West St. Paul apartment complex with toddler nearby

After his arrest on July 30, Payne told police he and McDonald had gone to Renfro's apartment the morning of July 9 in McDonald's vehicle, walked into the apartment complex and then went thorugh the bedroom window of Renfro's apartment. Payne said Renfro woke up, told them to "get out of here," and then according to Payne, McDonald shot Renfro "multiple times."

Bail is set in the amount of $1.5 million without condtions ($1 million with conditions) for McDonald. His next court appearance will be on September 4. Payne's bail is set in the amount of $1 million without conditions ($750,000 with conditions), and his next court appearance is set for August 19.

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Tommy Wiita

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