Man given 25 years for execution-style murder of man he didn’t know

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James Harmon was shot in the head as he slept in his St. Paul home by a man he didn’t know and who chose the house at random.

James Harmon (Courtesy of the family)

On Wednesday, nearly one year to the day of Harmon’s killing, his siblings addressed the court in victim impact statements before the man who pulled the trigger was sent to prison.

“I’m still waiting for somebody to tell me he wasn’t so ruthlessly ripped away from us,” Harmon’s sister Raquel Lopez said, sobbing. “Please tell me he wasn’t shot execution-style in his head while he rested for work the next day by a complete and total stranger, for no reason at all.”

Tevon Antowon King broke into the home in the 1100 block of White Bear Avenue on June 6, 2023, shooting Harmon, a 36-year-old father of four, in his basement bedroom at close range.

King pleaded guilty in April to second-degree murder and first-degree burglary with a dangerous weapon as part of an agreement with the prosecution that included a 25½-year prison term, which Ramsey County District Judge Thomas Gilligan Jr handed down Wednesday.

King, 28, of St. Paul, entered a Norgaard plea. Under the plea, a defendant says they are unable to remember what happened due to drug use or mental health impairment at the time, but acknowledges there is enough evidence for a jury to convict beyond a reasonable doubt.

‘That is an execution’

A SWAT team arrested King after he then broke into a home five houses away from Harmon’s, according to the charges. King, who was found sleeping in the basement with a Springfield 9mm handgun next to him, had fired a shot outside the home, then went inside and threatened to shoot a 29-year-old man, who hid in a bathroom and called 911.

Investigators tied King to Harmon’s murder by the handgun and shell casings that were found at both homes.

Tevon Antowon King (Courtesy of the Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office)

The same handgun also fired casings recovered at the scenes of two previous St. Paul shooting incidents, authorities said. King reportedly fired a gun into the air during an argument with his girlfriend in 2020. And King’s father used the gun to kill a dog in 2021.

Officers spoke to King’s co-worker, who was identified in the charges as MC. He said he and others hung out with King after work on June 6, that they drank and smoked weed. He said King believed people were following him, and he believed King had a mental breakdown.

MC said King’s behavior also made him uncomfortable, so he decided to take King and his girlfriend to King’s mother’s house.

MC said when he turned west on Maryland Avenue at White Bear Lake Avenue, he heard “pop, pop, pop.” He saw a black handgun in King’s hands and believed he fired out the back window. MC said he did not know King had a handgun on him and that he was scared for his life.

MC stopped the truck and told the two to get out. When he got home, he called King’s mother, and he “told her something was wrong with him,” the charges say.

King’s mother told police her son was suicidal and having problems with drug use, the charges say. She said he had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and schizoaffective disorder.

In an interview with investigators, King denied having a weapon, but he was unsure if his girlfriend had her Springfield 9mm handgun with her. He said they drank and smoked weed, which he thinks was laced with fentanyl unbeknownst to him.

King told police he does not remember anything after MC’s house, that the next thing he remembered was waking up to police yelling at him with an AR-15 in his face. He was upset that police woke him up.

King said he did not know whose house he slept in.

When shown photos of Harmon and his roommate, King said he did not know either of them. He denied hurting anyone.

King then said he might have found a gun in the area, and that if Harmon was shot while sleeping then “that is an execution and (expletive) up,” the charges say. “King said he is possibly being framed.”


Harmon, who was known as Jimmy, grew up in Jersey City, N.J., and moved to Minnesota after his brother, Felix Lopez, did.

“Jimmy was a beacon of light with many talents that were stripped away by a coward,” Felix said in court Wednesday via Zoom. “Jimmy grew up in the inner city where life wasn’t easy. He moved to Minnesota to live with me and my wife.”

Harmon was warm and compassionate and a loving father, uncle, cousin, nephew, brother-in-law, grandson, son and the “best baby brother anyone could ask for,” Lopez said.

Harmon was a “precious soul that was assassinated, not murdered,” Lopez said. “He shot my brother in his sleep. And that’s what an assassin does. We will never have our brother back.”

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