Minnesota man on trial for teens’ deaths linked to break in

04/21/2014 // West Palm Beach, Florida, US // JusticeNewsFlash // Justice News Flash // (press release)

Little Falls, Minnesota – A Minnesota man is on trial for killing two teenagers after they broke into his home. As reported by the Associated Press (AP), Byron Smith, 65, has been charged with first-degree premeditated murder for the 2012 deaths of 17-year-old Nick Brady and 18-year-old Haile Kifer.

Smith claims he feared the teens were armed with they broke into his home on Thanksgiving Day. Prosecutors allege; however, that he waited in his basement with guns and other items after planning to shoot them. In accordance with Minnesota law, the use of deadly force to prevent a felony from occurring in one’s home is allowed; however, Smith is accused of continuing to shoot the teens after they no longer presented a threat.

Assistant Washington County Attorney Brent Wartner is quoted by the AP as stating of Smith’s purported actions during the incident to jurors, “He’s down in the basement, in a chair, tucked between two bookcases at the bottom of the stairs. He said he was down there reading a book … with his Mini-14, a .22-caliber revolver, some energy bars and a bottle of water.”

Defense attorney Steve Meshbesher is further quoted as stating to jurors, “This is not a case of whodunit… Mr. Smith is the person who shot and killed those two people, but he is not criminally responsible for the deaths. He is not guilty of murder.”

This report is provided by Justice News Flash – Minnesota Legal News

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