ORLANDO — The shooter responsible for killing Adreian Payne — the former Michigan State basketball star who played three seasons with the Timberwolves — told deputies he shot Payne in self-defense, but a detective for the Orange County Sheriff's Office determined he wasn't justified in his actions, court records show.
Lawrence Dority, 29, was arrested Monday on a first-degree murder warrant and taken to the Orange County Jail. He is being held without bail and has pleaded not guilty.
On Tuesday, Harold Thompson, an attorney for Dority, filed a motion asking the court to allow his client to be released on bond. Dority, Thompson wrote, "has substantial ties to the community and... is not a flight risk."
At around 1:30 a.m. Monday, deputies responded to a shooting on the 2500 block of Egret Shores Drive in Econ Landing townhomes, according to an OCSO affidavit.
Deputies found Payne, 31, suffering from a gunshot wound and sitting in a black Chevy sedan, OCSO said. Orange County Fire Rescue transported Payne to AdventHealth Hospital East, but at 2:23 a.m. he was pronounced dead.
Dority, who called 911, remained on scene cooperating with OCSO's investigation.
Deputies learned from a witness whose name was redacted from the affidavit that she and Payne were asked to come to the townhome by Dority's girlfriend, Tatiana Mesa, to act as mediators for the couple, who the witness said argue "often." Payne and the witness drove separately. Payne arrived at Dority's home first.
Dority arrived later in a car driven by his father, Larry Dority. Lawrence Dority exited his father's vehicle, approached the black Chevrolet and began arguing with Payne, Larry Dority said. The elder Dority told authorities he thought his son looked intimidated based on Payne's stature.
Payne's listed height during his basketball career was 6-foot-10. He played for the Timberwolves from 2014-2017.
After the argument, Dority went inside his home and returned holding something under his shirt, the affidavit said. He approached Payne, pointed a 9mm handgun at him, took a shooting stance and fired one shot, the affidavit said.
Dority called 911 and told dispatch that Payne was trying to come into his house and also stated that Payne "reached for his gun, I ran inside my house, and I shot him."
In an interview with deputies, Dority said he didn't know how Payne knew where he lived and found the former basketball player's towering presence threatening. Dority also said he saw the shape of a gun on the right side of Payne's shirt and claimed Payne said, "I'll smoke you bra," the affidavit said.
Dority told Detective Christopher Gilberti his actions were justified since he was protecting his family and home.
However, Gilberti confirmed Payne was not in possession of a gun when he was transported to the hospital and determined that the former basketball player didn't pose an immediate threat to Dority based on witness testimony and surveillance video depicting the scene.
Orlando Sentinel staff writer Jeff Weiner contributed to this report.