Thread: Defense by murder
4/30/2014 12:07pm, #1
Defense by murder
LITTLE FALLS, Minn. – A Minnesota homeowner who shot and killed two teenagers during a break-in was convicted Tuesday of premeditated murder.
Bryon Smith had claimed he was simply defending himself during the break-in at his home in the small city of Little Falls on Thanksgiving Day 2012. Smith's attorney said the 65-year-old was fearful after previous burglaries.
But prosecutors argued that Smith waited in his basement and intended to kill the teens. A total of nine shots were fired at 17-year-old Nick Brady and 18-year-old Haile Kifer.
Jurors began deliberating Tuesday morning and within three hours had a verdict: Guilty on two counts each of first-degree and second-degree murder. Mothers of the teens cried as the verdicts were read, while Smith showed no emotion. Defense attorney Steve Meshbesher said he would appeal.
The teens' killings stirred debate around the state and in Little Falls -- a Mississippi River city of 8,000 about 100 miles northwest of Minneapolis -- about how far a homeowner can go in responding to a threat. Minnesota law allows deadly force to prevent a felony from taking place in one's home or dwelling, but one's actions must be considered reasonable under the circumstances.
This one gives me mixed feelings, part of me thinks that he just wanted to kill some "thugs". And yet the other thinks that they would still be alive had they not decided to break in.
4/30/2014 12:36pm, #2
I'm all for armed self defense, but that guy straight up baited and ambushed the second drunken teen, not to mentioning executing the helpless injured girl. The first one, he just ambushed, which is still totally unacceptable. He had all the time in the world to assess the threat, and chose to kill with innumerable opportunities available to him.
4/30/2014 12:37pm, #3
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4/30/2014 12:38pm, #4
IANAL, but I don't think there a legal defense akin to "premeditated self defense", especially since he shot one teen and then reloaded and waited for the other.
There is a big difference between using deadly force while defending your home/property in a state that allows it, and this guy who is a security expert, turning his house into a death trap. For all the time he spent planning, particular planning the second killing, he could have called 911. He waited until the following day, with two bodies in his house.
4/30/2014 1:24pm, #5
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See, this is why we can't have nice things. This guy is a fucking idiot. This could've ended with the same outcome for the burglars with the homeowner walking away a free man. But he made damn sure that would never happen. **** him for being a retard.
**** the burglars too though. No sympathy for them either. Sounds to me like everybody got what they deserved.
4/30/2014 2:10pm, #6
From the news yesterday, the man had been burglarized/stolen from numerous (around a couple of dozen times) over the years.
Not saying anything in his defense for what I perceive to be the murder of two young lives. **** him.
I'm with Devil. **** the burglars too. Having lost a lot of irreplaceable items from two burglaries in the past, I feel no sympathy for the young misguided thieves. You took your chances, rolled the dice and lost.
Still, it's a sad day all around for those left behind.Carter Hargrave's Jeet Can't Do
4/30/2014 3:12pm, #7
Prosecutors said Smith's plan was set in motion on the morning of the killings, after Smith saw a neighbor whom he believed responsible for prior burglaries drive by. Prosecutors say Smith moved his truck to make it look like no one was home, and then settled into a chair in his basement with a book, energy bars, a bottle of water and two guns.
Smith also set up a hand-held recorder on a bookshelf, which captured audio of the shootings -- key evidence in the prosecution's case. Smith had also installed a surveillance system that recorded images of Brady trying to enter the house.
The audio, which was played several times in court, captured the sound of glass shattering, then the sounds of Smith shooting Brady three times as he descended the basement stairs. Smith can be heard saying, "You're dead." Prosecutors said Smith put Brady's body on a tarp and dragged him into another room, then sat down, reloaded his weapon and waited.
About 10 minutes later, Kifer came downstairs. More shots are heard on the recording, then Kifer's screams, with Smith saying, "You're dying." It's followed soon after by another shot, which investigators said Smith described as "a good, clean finishing shot."
The teens were unarmed, but Smith's attorneys had said he feared they had a weapon.
He essentially set a trap, which is illegal even in the most lenient of gun law states. So, at that point it went from self defense to being a vigilante in my eyes.
4/30/2014 3:13pm, #8
Nick Brady's mother reacting to the verdict:
"I think often about what he could have been," said Kimberly Brady, Nick's mother. "And I see other young men with their dads or moms and it's really, really difficult and then I have to think that I will never have that chance again."
I hate it when anyone loses their life, but when you know the deal and roll the dice anyway, you get what you deserve.
As for Byron Smith's exceptionally dumb ass, well, I really don't know what to say. He could have been sitting home watching CNN and drinking a cold beer if he hadn't been such a dumbass. If I have time to sit around thinking about (premeditating) what I;m going to do if someone breaks in on me, surely I can come up with a better game-plan.
4/30/2014 3:48pm, #9
My understanding is that finishing off an wounded, and incapacitated individual is generally a no-no even under the most lenient "castle doctrine" and "stand your ground" laws.
4/30/2014 3:56pm, #10
Lying in wait, better known as an ambush, is more of a problem than " finishing them off." He screwed up by recording his shenanigans. We wouldn't even know about the finishing and reloading of the gun.