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Minn. man charged with killing 2 teens

Nov. 26, 2012 at 9:53 PM   |   Comments

LITTLE FALLS, Minn., Nov. 26 (UPI) -- A Minnesota man was charged with murder Monday for shooting two teenage intruders to death in his home on Thanksgiving Day.

Authorities say Byron David Smith, 64, of rural Morrison County told investigators he pumped more shots into Nicholas Brady, 17, and his cousin, Haile Kifer, 18, after he wounded them, the Morrison County Record reported. Neighbors alerted authorities the next day.

Smith, who told authorities his home had been broken into several times previously, was charged with two counts of second-degree murder and his bail was set at $1 million, or $100,000 cash.

The criminal complaint said Smith told investigators he was in his basement when he heard footsteps outside his house, then the sound of a window breaking and footsteps in the hallway. He said he saw someone come down the steps -- it was Brady -- and shot him twice with a Mini-14 rifle. He told the officers he then shot the youth in the face. "I want[ed] him dead," Smith is quoted in the complaint as saying.

The complaint said Smith put the body on a tarp, pulled it into his workshop and sat back down in his chair. Soon after, a second person -- Kifer -- started down the stairs and he shot her, causing her to tumble down the steps. His gun jammed when he tried to shoot her again.

He told investigators she laughed at him and that's when he used a .22-caliber revolver to shoot her several times in the chest. He dragged her into the workshop and shot her once more under the chin because she was still gasping for air.

Sheriff Michel Wetzel said at a news conference Smith told officers he shot Kifer again to "put her out of her misery."

Minnesota law allows someone to use force to protect their property or themselves against bodily harm.

"The force must be reasonable," Wetzel said. "The law doesn't permit you to execute somebody once the threat is gone and there is no possible way the crime can continue."

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