A Los Angeles man pleaded guilty in Sonoma County Superior Court Tuesday to the voluntary manslaughter of a Sebastopol man in July. Kevin Anthony Payne, 22, will be sentenced Dec. 15 for killing 31-year-old Elijah Lockhart on July 6. His co-defendant, James Larry Lewis Jr., 35, of Guerneville, is charged with being an accessory to the killing.
A date for his preliminary hearing will be set Nov. 18. Lockhart was stabbed in the chest after an altercation about drugs on the Guerneville pedestrian bridge over the Russian River. He staggered to the First Street Plaza and collapsed. He died on the way to Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital.
Payne faces up to 11 years in prison, but is expected to receive no more than six years as part of a plea agreement. A murder charge against him will be dismissed at sentencing.
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