Homeowner Charged with Second-Degree Murder of Teens
A Minnesota homeowner has been charged with second-degree murder after the fatal shooting of two teens that broke into his home.
A number of details have emerged in the rather gruesome case of the man who fatally shot the two teenagers on Thanksgiving Day.
According of an audio recording of the incident, Byron David Smith, the homeowner, shot Hailie Kifer, 18, in the chest and then taunted her as she died. In the final moments of her life, he was telling her that she was dying. He then shot her repeatedly until she died.
Minutes before, Smith allegedly shot Nicholas Brady, 17, Kifer’s cousin. Police said in their report that Smith then dragged the bodies to a workshop and he kept them there for an entire day.
Authorities found out about the exact interaction between Smith and the teens through audio and video recordings that were found in a search of the home. They had recovered computer equipment and several memory cards. This data was allegedly the result of Smith’s home being broken into several times before this incident. It is estimated he was a victim of burglary eight times. In December, Smith would be charged with two counts of murder stemming from the fact the teens were shot multiple times.
In Minnesota, homeowners do have the right to protect their property and themselves, but the contention is that a person does not have the right to execute the intruder once the intruder has been neutralized.
While it has been said the teens would be alive had they not been breaking into houses, it is also said that unnecessary force was used against them.
Smith, however, states that he was in his basement when he heard an upstairs window break. In the complaint, Smith said that he shot Brady the moment he came into view. Brady then tumbled down the basement stairs and Smith shot him in the face when Brady landed on the floor face up. Smith said he dragged the body into his workshop and then sat down in a chair. When Kifer started walking down the stairs, he shot her. She then tumbled down the stairs. When she came to rest at the bottom of the stairs, Smith tried to shoot her again, but the gun jammed and Smith said Kifer laughed at him.
Smith has been noted saying to investigators that if you try to shoot a person and they laugh at you, you try again. Smith then got his .22-caliber revolver and shot her in the chest multiple times. He would then drag her body to the workshop. She was gasping for air at that time, so he shot her under the chin “into the cranium” that Smith claimed was a “good clean finishing shot.” The criminal complaint says that he admitted to firing more shots than he had to.
Smith said he left the bodies in the home overnight so he could call a neighbor the next morning to ask them if they knew a good attorney. He then asked that neighbor to call the police.
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