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Man Pleads Guilty In Grand Rapids Murder, Kidnapping Case

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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A 26-year-old Bovey, Minn., man is facing at least 35 years in prison after pleading guilty in Itasca County Court Thursday to charges in connection with the murder of one person and attempted murder of another in Grand Rapids last December.

William Levi Payne pleaded guilty to second-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder, kidnapping, terroristic threats, two counts of burglary, second-degree assault and violation or order for protection in connection with the Dec. 22, 2012 incident.

According to the charges, the Itasca County Sheriff’s Office was called to a residence in Grand Rapids where two people had been shot. A second 911 call was made by Payne, saying he had just killed two people and that law enforcement could come pick him up. Payne was taken into custody at 10:48 p.m. that night.

A witness at the scene said was in the bathroom at the residence when she heard Payne yell, followed by hearing several gunshots. Payne then told her to come with him or he would kill her too. He then grabbed the woman and told her to drive to a nearby city, threatening her with a gun to hear head, according to the complaint.

Payne told the woman he had shot two people and believed they both were dead. One of the two victims in the shooting died on Dec. 27, 2012.

Payne could face more than 52 years in prison and will appear in court for a sentencing hearing on March 7. He is currently in the Itasca County Jail.

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