St. Cloud Teen Pleads Guilty to Attempted Murder
ST. CLOUD -- An 18-year-old man has pleaded guilty to second-degree attempted murder after a shooting in St. Cloud critically hurt another man last March.
Nathaniel Smith of St. Cloud and the victim, 21-year-old Antoine Fair had an ongoing conflict between them and their families. A confrontation between Smith and Fair's family took place earlier in the day and Fair was told about it.
After the shooting, Smith was arrested and interviewed. He initially told police he wasn't the shooter but was at the scene when it happened. Police say Smith ultimately admitted to being the trigger man.
Smith said he drove himself and two others to the scene in the 100 block of 18th Avenue North, got out and went into a detached garage while the other two waited in the vehicle. Smith said when he came out, Fair was choking the front-seat passenger. Smith said he reached around Fair and grabbed a gun out of the pocket of the choking victim and shot Fair once in the back. Smith said Fair turned and charged at him so he fired two more shots toward his chest.
Medical reports indicate Fair was shot three times, once in the neck which damaged the carotid artery and lodged in his jaw, once in the head with the bullet lodging in his brain and once in his back. The report said there were no frontal gunshot injuries to the victim.
A witness also told investigators they heard one gunshot and looked out the window. She said she saw Smith standing over the victim and firing two more shots.
The Stearns County Attorney's Office will argue for a sentence of just over 11 years in prison. A sentencing date has not yet been set.