Lawrence Dority Pleads Not Guilty in Shooting Death of Former MSU Star Adreian Payne

Tyler Conway@@jtylerconwayFeatured Columnist IVMay 10, 2022

VILLEURBANNE, FRANCE - FEBRUARY 04: Adreian Payne, #33 of LDLC Asvel Villeurbanne during the 2019/2020 Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Regular Season Round 23 match between LDLC Asvel Villeurbane and FC Bayern Munich at The Astroballe on February 04, 2020 in Villeurbanne, France. (Photo by Romain Biard/Euroleague Basketball via Getty Images)
Romain Biard/Euroleague Basketball via Getty Images

Lawrence Dority pleaded not guilty Tuesday to a charge of first-degree murder with a firearm in the shooting death of Adreian Payne, per Chris Solari of the Detroit Free Press.

Dority, 29, is accused of killing Payne early Monday morning after the former Michigan State forward and his girlfriend attempted to assist a woman they knew who was allegedly in an abusive relationship with Dority, per Solari.

According to the police report, Dority told police he felt threatened by Payne, who he said was "making movements with his right hand in the right side of his waistband" and making verbal threats at Dority.

The report also said Dority, who is 5'8" and 150 pounds, felt threatened by the 6'10" Payne because of his size. Dority said he went into his home after the verbal altercation with Payne and retrieved his gun before coming outside and firing one shot at Payne as a means of protection.

"This man tried coming to my house, he cut around my block, and he tried shooting me. … He act like he got a gun, and I shot him," Dority said.

Florida is a "stand-your-ground" state, meaning a person does have the right to use lethal force if they perceive a threat to their safety.

However, a witness contradicted Dority's account of the events, saying Payne never threatened him. Police also found that Payne was unarmed and wrote in the affidavit that they believe Payne "did not pose an immediate threat to Dority." 

Payne starred at Michigan State from 2010 to 2014 before being drafted by the Atlanta Hawks in the first round of the 2014 NBA draft. He would play for the Hawks, Minnesota Timberwolves and Orlando Magic during his NBA career before finding success playing professional basketball overseas.