Beating death in store brings 24 year sentence

Thursday, April 04, 2019

A St. Paul man was sentenced to more than 24 years in prison in the beating death of a man coming out of a convenience store, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman announced Thursday.

Terry Williams, 30, pleaded guilty Tuesday to second-degree unintentional murder in the beating death of 24-year-old Lance Grant. He was sentenced to 290 months in prison Thursday morning. Grant’s mother and younger sister gave victim impact statements and told the court that he never got to meet his daughter, who will celebrate her first birthday Saturday.

When he pleaded guilty, Williams also admitted to aggravating factors which allowed the judge to impose a longer sentence. The main aggravating factor was Grant’s vulnerability because he was unconscious and defenseless during the beating. The Minnesota Sentencing Guidelines for Williams’ crime and no aggravating factors is 210 months in prison.

According to the criminal complaint, shortly after 11 p.m. on Nov. 27, 2017, Williams opened the door of Buzz Mart, 6 N. Fifth St., as Grant was approaching the door to leave. Williams immediately punched Grant in the face, knocking him to the floor. Williams then stood over Grant punching him in the head several more times and Grant appeared to be unconscious.

During his guilty plea Tuesday, Williams admitted he then stomped on Grant’s head multiple times. He then went through Grant’s pockets, according to the complaint. Williams was arrested the next afternoon. Grant underwent surgery immediately but he never regained consciousness and died June 27, 2018.