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Thread: 'You’re dead.' Audio of Minnesota homeowner repeatedly shooting unarmed intruders

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    Elite Member Honey's Avatar
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    Default 'You’re dead.' Audio of Minnesota homeowner repeatedly shooting unarmed intruders



    Jurors in a Minnesota trial heard a chilling audio of a killing Tuesday made by the shooter himself. When coupled with other evidence, prosecutors believe it shows the accused homeowner was lying in wait to kill, not acting in self-defense against intruders.

    In it, Byron Smith, 65, shoots and kills 17-year-old Nick Brady and 18-year-old Haile Kifer on Thanksgiving Day in 2012 after the teenagers broke into his Little Falls home. He says he was frightened, hiding in his basement, on edge after earlier break-ins. He feared the two were armed, which they weren’t.

    Smith is in the basement when the recording starts.
    It begins with the sound of glass shattering, followed by footsteps on the floor above.
    Then there are two gunshots.
    Brady falls down the basement stairs. “You’re dead,” Smith tells him, according to theStar Tribune.
    Prosecutors allege Smith shot the teen a third time in the face and later told investigators, “I want him dead,” ABC News reported.

    Almost immediately after the first shooting, the rustling of a tarp is heard, then a dragging sound and labored breathing. Smith said he had moved the boy’s body to a workshop in the basement to keep his blood from staining the carpet, the Associated Press reported.
    The audio continues with the sound of a gun being reloaded. About 11 minutes pass between the two shootings, local reports say.
    Kifer’s footsteps are heard on the stairs and she calls out quietly, “Nick?”
    Then comes the sound of more shots. She falls down the stairs. “Oh, sorry about that,” Smith tells her. She screams, “Oh my God!”
    Then more shots. Smith tells her, “You’re dying,” and calls her a “bitch,” the AP reported.

    After more labored breathing and another dragging sound, Smith calls her “bitch” again. He told authorities that after he moved her, he noticed she was still gasping and didn’t want her to suffer, so he fired under her chin with a 22.-caliber handgun, according to a report in the Pioneer Press. The Star Tribune reported Smith told investigators the last time he fired was “a good clean finishing shot” and “she gave out the death twitch.”

    The Bureau of Criminal Apprehension investigators on Tuesday detailed the evidence, including photos of the bodies: “Brady’s laid tangled in a camouflage tarp, Kifer’s laid with her bloody midriff exposed, knees bent, a black hoodie tied tightly around her face,” the Star Tribune reported.
    Prosecutors said during opening statements on Monday that Smith planned the killings and was waiting in his basement with loaded weapons, some energy bars and a bottle of water. Smith allegedly had the audio recorder, part of an elaborate surveillance system, running for six hours before, during and after the shootings. Smith’s attorney argued his client was terrified after several violent break-ins and he hid after he heard a window break and footsteps upstairs.

    When questioned about why he had continued to shoot, Smith said he didn’t want to wait for them to pull weapons, The Star Tribune reported.

    Smith said he ended up hiding in the basement through the night before calling a neighbor the next day because he was afraid of an accomplice.
    Smith was initially charged with second-degree murder, according to early news reports. The first-degree murder indictment came last year after a grand jury spent two days reviewing evidence and listening to testimony. If convicted of first-degree murder, he could face up to life in prison.

    ‘You’re dead.’ Chilling audio of Minnesota homeowner repeatedly shooting unarmed intruders

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    Elite Member Brookie's Avatar
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    You can charge someone with second degree murder while they're defending their property?
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    Elite Member MohandasKGanja's Avatar
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    FIRST degree murder.

    I understand the intent of the Castle Doctrine, but this guy sounds like a sadist.
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    Elite Member CornFlakegrl's Avatar
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    He does sound nuts but they did break in and he was defending his property.
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    Elite Member msdeb's Avatar
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    someone breaks into MY house loses any rights they have.
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    Elite Member McJag's Avatar
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    Wasn't this the 3rd time they broke in his house in a month? He was elderly. I would have done it the first time and saved them the trouble. They were not people who respected boundries.
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    Elite Member nwgirl's Avatar
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    Maybe I'm a horrible person. But whenever I've watched movies where someone "might" be dead, who you certainly WANT to be dead...I think to myself that I'd make damn sure they were dead even if it meant doing something horrible to them. Break into my house and I'd make sure I unloaded the gun on you and for sure would reload if I still heard you moving around. Sorry. That's what you get. Don't give a rats ass if you're unarmed.
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    Elite Member MohandasKGanja's Avatar
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    Minnesota man convicted of premeditated murder

    By ASSOCIATED PRESS
    PUBLISHED: 15:52 EST, 29 April 2014 | UPDATED: 15:52 EST, 29 April 2014



    LITTLE FALLS, Minn. (AP) — 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.
    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.
    The tape continued to run, and Smith was heard referring to the teens as "vermin." Smith waited a full day before asking a neighbor to call police.
    Smith did not testify on his own behalf. Meshbesher highlighted previous burglaries on Smith's property, including one on Oct. 27 that included the theft of weapons. A neighbor testified that Smith came to his door after that burglary and appeared very frightened. Meshbesher said Smith wrote a memo to the Morrison County Sheriff's Office on Oct. 29 asking them to investigate.
    Meshbesher said in his closing arguments that the teens would still be alive if they hadn't broken into Smith's house. He also said Smith had a legal right to use deadly force to defend himself.
    Before retiring from the U.S. State Department, Smith worked on technical security issues for American embassies, such as building layout and alarms.
    Kifer was a senior who was active in athletics at Little Falls High School. Brady was a student and a wrestler at that school before transferring to nearby Pillager High School, where he was a junior. They were cousins.
    Court documents that were not allowed as evidence showed Brady had broken into Smith's house and garage before. Brady and Kifer were also linked to another burglary the day before they were killed; stolen prescription drugs were found in the car they were driving.
    Judge Douglas Anderson excluded evidence about the teens' histories from the trial as irrelevant


    Read more: Minnesota man convicted of premeditated murder | Mail Online
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    Elite Member Brookie's Avatar
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    So, if I plan in advance to defend myself IN CASE someone breaks into my house, it's premeditated murder. Mmmkey dokey.
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    Elite Member MohandasKGanja's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brookie View Post
    So, if I plan in advance to defend myself IN CASE someone breaks into my house, it's premeditated murder. Mmmkey dokey.
    I think this passage is probably what got him convicted:

    Then comes the sound of more shots. She falls down the stairs. “Oh, sorry about that,” Smith tells her. She screams, “Oh my God!”
    Then more shots. Smith tells her, “You’re dying,” and calls her a “bitch,” the AP reported.

    After more labored breathing and another dragging sound, Smith calls her “bitch” again. He told authorities that after he moved her, he noticed she was still gasping and didn’t want her to suffer, so he fired under her chin with a 22.-caliber handgun, according to a report in the Pioneer Press. The Star Tribune reported Smith told investigators the last time he fired was “a good clean finishing shot” and “she gave out the death twitch.”

    The doctrine that applies here is the Castle Doctrine, which entitles you to defend yourself, even with lethal force, in your house. However, if you have shot somebody and they are completely disabled at that point and/or dying, you are not entitled to finish them off.

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    Elite Member Flygirl's Avatar
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    That's the kicker in all of this....dude would have completely gotten off scot free if HE had not set up the audio recording. (who does that?)
    Not to mention the sheer stupidity of him saying that kind of stuff knowing he was being recorded. I think he would have been better off with some kind of insanity plea. In another article I read that he testified that he didn't call the police because "why would I bother law enforcement with something like that on Thanksgiving?"
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    Elite Member Sarzy's Avatar
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    I'm glad he got convicted of premeditated murder. He sounds a sick nut job.

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    Bronze Member ScoobyDoo's Avatar
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    I don't doubt that this is the right verdict...The guy shouldn't have "laid in wait" for these two kids but I do feel for him, actually. I read that he had offered a group of them work on his property the summer before and when things started to go missing from him house, he assumed it was them. Decided not to ask them back the following summer but they came around bumming him for work again. He declined. Then, I think the break-ins started getting more "in your face," with windows broken out, etc. He called the cops once and felt like they didn't follow up or take it seriously. The guy felt like he was under siege and was pretty pissed, losing not only valuable items and money but things that I think were important to him and represented his life's work - collections from abroad, etc. Certainly could have been handled much, much differently...but I think these kids were bullying him and ended up on the losing end.

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    Elite Member Flygirl's Avatar
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    ^^ that story makes it even worse in my opinion. He knew the kids personally, and knew damn well his life wasn't in danger. That discredits any self-defense motive right there. Yeah, I know he was pissed about his stuff, but this vigilante justice shit has got to stop. I guess the kids' parents now have every right to go kill him, since he committed a felony against them. My only sympathy is that I truly believe he is mentally unstable.
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    Elite Member cherrypye's Avatar
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    I don't know. I say some pretty badass things when I'm terrified, mostly it's a defense mechanism. Reality is, my heart is beating out of my chest, but instead of shrinking I make my presence bigger.

    This guy seems like an ass, but I wouldn't read too much into the dialogue.
    Last edited by cherrypye; May 1st, 2014 at 11:04 AM.

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