Payne sentenced for Grand Rapids shooting
A Bovey man charged with shooting two people, one fatally, and kidnapping his estranged wife was sentenced as expected Thursday to 52 1/2 years in prison.
A Bovey man charged with shooting two people, one fatally, and kidnapping his estranged wife was sentenced as expected Thursday to 52½ years in prison.
William Levi Payne, 26, pleaded guilty in State District Court in Grand Rapids last month to second-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder, kidnapping, terroristic threats, first-degree burglary, second-degree assault and violating an order for protection.
According to the terms of the plea agreement reached last month and accepted by the judge Thursday, Payne will receive a prison sentence of 52½ years, of which he will have to serve at least 35 years -- when he will be 61 -- followed by 17½ years of supervised release.
According to court documents, Payne knew his estranged wife, Sarah Payne, and a male friend, Paul Russell Johnson, 32, were at Johnson's Grand Rapids home at 516 10th Ave. N.W. when he went there on the evening of Dec. 22. Payne shot Johnson and his mother, Rosemary Oberg-Johnson, 59, and kidnapped his wife.
Mother and son were both critically wounded and airlifted to hospitals in Duluth. Oberg-Johnson died of her wounds on Dec. 27. Johnson is said to be recovering.
Sarah Payne told authorities that her husband threatened her by saying, "You come with me right now. If you don't, I'll kill you, too." She said that while driving, her husband further threatened her by pointing the gun toward her head and body.
She drove toward Marble, and William Payne allegedly used his wife's cell phone to call 911 and say that he had shot two people.
Police arrested William Payne without incident at 8:48 that night. According to the criminal complaint, Sarah Payne had obtained an order for protection against William Payne.