Byron Smith.

Two kids break into a man’s house and are shot dead.

Sounds like a clear-cut case for self-defense, right?

At first blush, yes.

But not in this case.

In Minnesota, a man laid in wait for burglars to break into his home.  Nothing terribly wrong with guarding your property against burglars.

The difference here is that this man was essentially hunting human beings.

He had a cell-phone jammer set up, along with video surveillance and a tape recorder.

He sat and waited for a couple of teens to break in.

He shot one unarmed teen as he descended the steps into the basement.  Then taunted him as he lay dying.

And then shot him a few more times before dragging his body away, reloading and waiting for the second teen he had seen on his video monitor.

He didn’t have to wait long.  The female half came down, looking for her cousin.  The homeowner shot her in the legs with a Mini-14, then calmly walked over and shot her in the chest a few times with his .22 pistol.  And then there was the “clean finishing shot” to the head.

The homeowner then waits a day before asking a neighbor to notify police.

Good riddance, buddy.

You’re a sociopath.

LITTLE FALLS, Minn. (AP) — A Minnesota homeowner who shot and killed two unarmed teenagers during a break-in was quickly convicted of premeditated murder Tuesday, with a jury taking about three hours to reject his claim of self-defense.

Byron Smith, a 65-year-old retiree who once set up security in American embassies for the U.S. State Department, shot Nick Brady, 17, and Haile Kifer, 18, multiple times after they broke into his home on Thanksgiving Day 2012.

Smith’s attorney said he was fearful after previous burglaries. But prosecutors argued Smith waited in his basement and intended to kill the teens, with a setup so elaborate that lead prosecutor Pete Orput compared it to a deer stand. Their key evidence was an audio recording that captured the killings in chilling detail, including Smith’s taunts as the teens died.

The mothers of the teens, who were cousins, cried as the verdicts were read: guilty on two counts each of first-degree and second-degree murder. Smith, who showed no emotion as he heard the verdicts, was immediately sentenced to life without parole. Defense attorney Steve Meshbesher said he would appeal.

6 thoughts on “GOOD VERDICT, BAD SHOOT: Jury convicts in MN home invader case”
  1. When your home is invaded again and again and again and the police do not (because they cannot) stop it, and you take defensive measures to protect your own property, you are not hunting humans! Chicago gangbangers doing drive bys THEY are hunting humans. Shame on you for comparing the two.

    Shame on you also for passing judgement on man CLEARLY ADMITTED to be literally tormented by multiple and ongoing home invasions. Shame on you for absolving the invaders. They got EXACTLY what they EARNED. They would be alive today had they had they done one simple thing – rethink their whole invasion policy.

    If we are at the point where “pro gun” people are willing to throw people under the bus for defending THEIR OWN PROPERTY AND SELVES from OBVIOUS INVADERS, then it’s time to hang it all up. For there is no justice for victims of invasion who defend themselves.
    This is a disgusting piece and is more akin to a moms demand action position.
    Sociopath? Uh huh. Only a sociopath BLAMES the one defending his OWN property from INVADERS!

    1. Foolishness:

      If you do as this guy did, I’ll call you out for your criminal act as well.

      Either you didn’t read the story and/or you have no clue about the judicious use of deadly force.

      In any event, what this man did was criminal.

      It doesn’t matter if he was a repeated victim. He was in the right until the point where the intruder was no longer a credible threat. Past that point, it was murder, plain and simple.


  2. There’s a difference between shooting to stop the threat and what this guy did. Did you even read the article? He was fine up until he moved a body and casually executed a person with a “clean finishing shot to the head” while they are gasping for breath and no longer a threat. Oh, and then he waits a day to report the incident. Do you support these actions?

    If so, then you too might be a sociopath and are likely a danger to yourself and others.

  3. “The Punisher” is a comic book. In real life, when you play judge, jury and executioner – you’re acting outside of the law. Now he pays the price for those actions.

    This isn’t about defending one’s self or one’s property … read the story. He went hunting, finished off his prey, and is clearly guilty based upon the evidence (including video/audio that he himself recorded!)

    1. Exactly! Also whenever I hear the joke about how you should “shoot them in the yard then drag them inside” to claim self defense, or see those “trespassers will be shot, survivors will be shot again” signs, I cringe. Some people might like to joke about deadly force, but as we see with this ruling the result of acting on that mentality is a murder rap.

      As it should be.

  4. There is little question that there was no reasonable fear of death or great bodily harm to Smith at the point he shot the girl in the head. The verdict was correct. There is certainly tragedy here in the death of two teenagers and the lifetime imprisonment of a man who apparently had no prior criminal difficulties. But the real tragedy is the failure of the criminal justice system to the point that a person comes to the conclusion this action was necessary to protect himself and his home. This is what happens as a consequence of a system more interested in the rights, welfare, and rehabilitation of the criminals rather than stopping the criminal acts. This is also the consequence of both a home life and a school system where kids never learn that they are responsible for their wrongful acts. This is what the breakdown looks like.

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