On November 22 (Thanksgiving day), 2012, two teens, 18 year old Haile Kifer, and her cousin, 17 year old Nicholas Brady, allegedly broke into the home of Bryon David Smith in Little Falls, MN. Smith shot the two teens as they separately and minutes apart entered the basement where he was, later claiming to police he was worried about them being armed. By his account to police, he shot Brady twice at the top of the basement stairs, and once in the face fatally after he fell to the bottom of the stairs. Minutes later when Kifer entered the basement, he shot her at the top of the stairs, and after she fell wounded, shot her multiple times in the chest, dragged her across the floor to set her beside the body of her cousin, and then shot her fatally under the chin. Smith then waited until Friday to have a neighbor call police, saying that he did not want to bother law enforcement on Thanksgiving.[1]

Smith, 64, was retired from the U.S. State Department and had a history of international travel to Moscow, Bangkok and Beijing.[2] Smith's brother described him as a retired security engineering officer. The home had been previously burglarized multiple times according to the brother, although only one burglary had been reported to police.[3]

Sheriff Michel Wetzel believed the teenagers were burglarizing Smith's residence Thanksgiving day.[2] Brady's sister claimed Brady stole drugs from her home August 28 in a case that was still under investigation.[3] Evidence recovered from the car driven by Brady was linked to a burglary of the residence of a retired teacher the night before he and Kifer were slain by Byron Smith.[4]

Smith's statements to police describe delivering killing shots to the heads of both victims after he had shot them on the stairs and they had fallen to the basement floor wounded.[5] Analysts have said that the initial shootings would probably have been justified under Minnesota's Castle law, but that the subsequent shots were not justified once any threat had been removed.[6] Smith has been charged with two counts of second degree murder.[7] Hamline University School of Law professor Joseph Olson: "I think the first shot is justified. After the person is no longer a threat because they're seriously wounded, the application of self-defense is over."[2]

Smith was offered two bail options: $2 million unconditional, $1 million on conditions he surrendered his passport and all firearms and stayed in Minnesota. He elected not to post bail.[2]

See also

Castle law


This article uses material from the Wikipedia article Byron David Smith killings, that was deleted or is being discussed for deletion, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
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