A Granite City man has been sentenced to 25 years in prison after he pleaded guilty to shooting a man early Christmas morning in the man’s home.
Clayton D. Lawrence, 28, gave a Fairview Heights man a nasty surprise when he woke him up at 2:30 a.m. Dec. 25, 2016, by breaking into his home to steal money, police said.
Lawrence forced homeowner Andrew Tinge into the bedroom and demanded he open his safe. He fired more than one shot at and near Tinge, Caseyville Police Chief Frank Moore said in January after Lawrence was charged with home invasion causing great bodily harm, aggravated battery, unlawful possession of a stolen vehicle and possession of a weapon by a felon.
One of the shots struck Tinge as he charged at Lawrence, trying to get the gun away from him. Tinge later told police he feared for his life.
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“The victim, who was sleeping, woke up thinking it was one of his kids dropping off presents. He went out to the front room area where the suspects confronted him with a gun and threatened to kill him,” Moore said.
Lawrence pleaded guilty Sept. 11 to the last three charges, and the home invasion charge was dismissed. He was sentenced to 25 years for aggravated battery and 10 years each for the stolen vehicle and weapon possession, but the sentences will be served concurrently, for a total of 25 years.
After Tinge was shot, he “frantically” called 911, court documents say. He told dispatchers that he had been shot in the arm, that someone had broken into his home and that he needed an ambulance. He said the man who had broken into his house had already left the house.
Lawrence stole Tinge’s car out of his driveway, and it was recovered later, engulfed in flames. He was arrested by police Dec. 30, in a stolen vehicle from Missouri.
Lawrence will have to serve 85 percent of his 25-year sentence.