ST. CLOUD - A St. Cloud man has been sentenced today (Thursday) to nearly 23 years in prison for a drug sale robbery and shooting last July.

Cornelius Payton was convicted by Stearns County Judge Kris Davick-Halfen in a bench trial back in March. The 25-year-old was one of three men who were accused of setting up a deal to buy marijuana then robbing the two men of their money and belongings in the 200 block of 33rd Avenue South.

Payton and 19-year-old Tyree Sharp entered the vehicle to buy the drugs when Payton pulled out a handgun. Sharp allegedly began taking belongings from an adult passenger in the vehicle.

During the robbery attempt, the driver tried to drive away. Payton is accused of firing two shots, hitting the victim in the shoulder and neck. The complaint states Sharp and Payton ran back to a get away vehicle and fled the scene.

Payton has been convicted on five felonies including attempted first degree murder, attempted second degree murder, aiding and abetting first degree aggravated robbery with a dangerous weapon, second degree assault with a dangerous weapon and for being a felon in possession of a gun.

The driver of the get away vehicle, 19-year-old Damian Wieneke has been sentenced to a year in jail for his role.