How not to talk to the police.


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thefish
November 27, 2012, 10:12 AM
Don't know if this gut is a little dilusional, wants to go to jail, or just an idiot, but intresting anyway.

http://news.yahoo.com/minn-man-says-fired-more-shots-needed-183741818.html

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cassandrasdaddy
November 27, 2012, 10:38 AM
hes toast unless he can pull off insanity defense

beatledog7
November 27, 2012, 11:12 AM
I think the thread is mis-titled. This isn't really about what he said to the police, although that will certainly hurt his legal defense. It's far more about the way he acted, a way we cannot support.

Please, defend yourself certainly, but shoot to put a stop to the threat, not to kill. If your stopping kills, so be it. But never, ever, ever act like this guy.

As gun owners, we must be prepared to address the antis over things like this. We must support his right to self defense but condemn his escalation into execution.

Spats McGee
November 27, 2012, 11:21 AM
I hope he likes orange.

NavyLCDR
November 27, 2012, 11:48 AM
Looks like the Oklahoma pharmacist is going to get a cellmate.

MagnumDweeb
November 27, 2012, 11:59 AM
The guy performed execution shots. That's frigging ridiculous. This guy is a nut, no two ways about it. There's defending yourself and then there's murdering somebody. Shooting somebody as they lay still on the floor, shooting somebody with the intent of killing them while they lay helpless and wounded. That's not self-defense.

You shoot in self-defense and the person dies as a result that is one thing. You disable the person and then shoot them further that's a whole 'nother situation.

Look if someone breaks into my house and I shoot them, I'm not going to rush to call an ambulance (probably because i'll be in the fetal position soiling myself, and I'll be afraid there might be more intruders), but I'm not going to wait an entire day.

The Pro-RKBA crowd needs to shun this guy. He's scum and makes us all look bad. Hopefully the prosecutor gets this guy to protect the self-defense laws and show the public that the self-defense laws don't allow this kind of absurd and horrific conduct.

When the first kid went down, he should have backed away from the staircase. When the other teenager saw the downed person they might have left, or they might have gone to the aid of the downed person. If she then got shot and tumbled down the stairs. The guy could have stopped shooting while two wounded persons were in his basement, and called the cops. Two kids might be alive, and this scum bag wouldn't be going to prison.

I would so love to handle his prosecution.

CoRoMo
November 27, 2012, 12:21 PM
What a monster.

This is a terrible story.

Too bad Minn doesn't have the death penalty for the worst of the worst.

Frank Ettin
November 27, 2012, 12:35 PM
Is there anything to learn from this? Can this serve as a basis for a serious discussion of the the scope and limits of the justified use of lethal force in self defense?

Or do you all just want to rag on this joker?

If the latter, this thread will get closed real soon.

Trent
November 27, 2012, 01:04 PM
Jeeeeeez that's harsh.

Owning / carrying a firearm does not make you judge, jury, and executioner.

Defending yourself is one thing, but it doesn't sound like there was any defense going on there. He didn't even take the time to identify his targets.

Art Eatman
November 27, 2012, 01:18 PM
Texas has three levels of charges in homicide cases. The lowest is for negligence, where killing was not the intention. Penalty of imprisonment up to ten years.

The highest is actual murder, which was planned ahead of time. Twenty years to life. Death penalty possible for "capital murder".

In the middle is a sort of gray-area charge, voluntary manslaughter. There was an intent to kill but occurring in the "throes of passion" where the perpetrator had lost control of himself. Ten to twenty years imprisonment.

From my own jury experience, the language of the possible charges makes it reasonably easy to reach a verdict. The legislature did a pretty good job in making the language specific and clear.

Bubba613
November 27, 2012, 01:20 PM
If he wins the criminal suit (and there's a better chance than you would imagine), he's toast on the civil suit.

DammitBoy
November 27, 2012, 01:23 PM
That was just plain murder. No defense.

Tommygunn
November 27, 2012, 01:23 PM
"If you're trying to shoot somebody and they laugh at you, you go again," Smith told investigators, according to a criminal complaint filed Monday.

Wow. Just wow. What jackwagon taught him the laws pertaining to self-defense shooting -- Ghenghis Khan??

I join with others who hope the guy likes wearing orange.

Teachu2
November 27, 2012, 01:46 PM
The worst part is that both he and his friend believe he was justified.

"John Lange, who described himself as Smith's best friend, said Smith shouldn't be in jail.

"You have a right to defend your home," Lange said. "He's been through hell." "

We don't get the whole report from the news, but it sure sounds like he was lying in wait for the second kid - and perhaps the first. I'm surprised that at least the second one wasn't charged as first degree, but I'm not a lawyer.

These guys are warped, but legally insane? I don't know.

beatledog7
November 27, 2012, 01:58 PM
I would hope he is not found to be insane but is prosecuted as a fully cognizant adult.

To reiterate, these deaths were not self defense; they were executions. Law-abiding gun owners must not condone this kind of behavior.

rooter
November 27, 2012, 02:16 PM
All occupations have risks. Being a burglar/home invader is no exception.

ClickClickD'oh
November 27, 2012, 02:32 PM
Sorry, but his story is BS. He shot the ever living hell out of the first teenager and the second decided to go down the stairs a few minutes? Bovine Fecal Mater. That teenager upstairs would have either had a screaming fit or bolted like a rabbit. I don't buy his story one bit.

The rest of this needs to come out... and I think this guy needs the chair.

westhope
November 27, 2012, 04:15 PM
609.065 JUSTIFIABLE TAKING OF LIFE.

The intentional taking of the life of another is not authorized by section 609.06, except when necessary in resisting or preventing an offense which the actor reasonably believes exposes the actor or another to great bodily harm or death, or preventing the commission of a felony in the actor's place of abode.

The above is Minnesota's law for the use of lethal force. Note the part about felony in place of abode. As far as I know, there is no prior case law considering this in Minnesota.

The two people broke a window to enter the home.

I do not agree with what the man did but the above is MN law. What he did was wrong in my opinion.

mljdeckard
November 27, 2012, 04:32 PM
This is an example of shutcher piehole and let your lawyer do the talking.

lemaymiami
November 27, 2012, 04:34 PM
As a retired cop I hope that this case is very carefully investigated and the clear facts are at the prosecutor's table. I've seen more than one killing dressed up as "self defense". Whoever the shooter is.... he's going to need some skilled legal help for what appears to be a criminal act (or acts) on his part.

Spats McGee
November 27, 2012, 04:40 PM
JUSTIFIABLE TAKING OF LIFE.

The intentional taking of the life of another is not authorized by section 609.06, except when necessary in resisting or preventing an offense which the actor reasonably believes exposes the actor or another to great bodily harm or death, or preventing the commission of a felony in the actor's place of abode.
I just don't see any way he clears the hurdles necessary to fall within the exception. Even on the "felony in the actor's place of abode," the shooting has to be "necessary . . . [to] prevent[] the commission of a felony in the actor's place of abode." Now, the first shots might (arguably) have been necessary in preventing the commission of a felony. Once they were down and he executed them? Not so much.

Arkansas Paul
November 27, 2012, 04:52 PM
All occupations have risks. Being a burglar/home invader is no exception.

While on it's face value, what you say is true, please tell me you don't believe this was justified. To walk over an unarmed person and fire a coupe de grace into their head is so far outside self defense that it boggles my mind. They were unarmed. They were laying on the floor wounded and obviously out of the fight. It's appalling and he deserves the same fate they got.
I'm entirely pro-self defense, but this wasn't that at all. At least not the ending.

Sorry, but his story is BS. He shot the ever living hell out of the first teenager and the second decided to go down the stairs a few minutes? Bovine Fecal Mater. That teenager upstairs would have either had a screaming fit or bolted like a rabbit. I don't buy his story one bit.

I'm inclined to agree with this. I don't see someone unleashing a barrage of fire and a 17-year old unarmed girl charging right into it on purpose. Stinks to me too.

HorseSoldier
November 27, 2012, 05:36 PM
Murder charges are entirely appropriate for the situation the suspect is describing in his statements to officers.

I just don't see any way he clears the hurdles necessary to fall within the exception. Even on the "felony in the actor's place of abode," the shooting has to be "necessary . . . [to] prevent[] the commission of a felony in the actor's place of abode." Now, the first shots might (arguably) have been necessary in preventing the commission of a felony. Once they were down and he executed them? Not so much.

Agreed. Deadly force in response to intruders when they might have been armed and such is one thing. It's going to be very hard to justify that executing them both with head shots after they were incapacitated was doing anything to protect personal safety or prevent the commission of a felony-level crime.

Spats McGee
November 27, 2012, 05:40 PM
Another possible title for this thread: "When to Stop Shooting: A Cautionary Tale."

It could be the sequal to "When to Stop Shooting: Prescription for Trouble."

Texan Scott
November 27, 2012, 05:50 PM
Mr. Eatman explained the levels of homicide under Texas law quite clearly. This guy would quite likely get 10-20. It's pretty clear this man had intent to kill someone who could do him no harm.

As for insanity pleas....

Insanity pleas have a very high threshold in Texas, compared to other states. Being mentally or emtionally disturbed is not adequate; even a history of, for instance, bipolar disorder won't likely get a person off. Our threshold for an insanity defense requires that the accused be detached from reality to the point that they themselves didn't understand their actions' significance.

If he'd shot those boys because they were disguised Ant People sent by Newt Gingrich to steal his toenails, but it's AOK because they'll regenerate in a day or two, he's insane.

In Texas, shooting them when they're already down because he has a right to defend his house and they're criminal scum who deserve it would make him a bad man who's going to Huntsville for a decade or two.

Spats McGee
November 27, 2012, 05:55 PM
I thought the shooter was in Minnesota . . . ?

blackvans1234
November 27, 2012, 06:52 PM
He said he needed a good lawyer?
And then he made all of those comments?

Not a good lawyer!

BSA1
November 27, 2012, 06:56 PM
Look for PTSD defense.

Yoda
November 27, 2012, 07:11 PM
I have heard all the rationale against warning shots, but in this case, I think they could have been used and justified.

You see an intruder colming down the stairs. You can see his lower body, but he can't see you. You don't know if he has a weapon. Under such conditions, a warning shot could be expected to make the intruder retreat back up the stairs, with no danger to yourself.

On the other hand, once the intruder is upstairs, he has you trapped in the basement. He could set fire to the house and pick you off as you try to escape.

OK, cancel the arguement in favor of the warning shot.

- - - Yoda

k_dawg
November 27, 2012, 07:16 PM
I do not know enough about the law, nor do I trust media reports on such matters. I know back in Florida, use of lethal force in your dwelling was allowed beyond just 'self defense'.

However, it appears he was charged based upon his words, and less so his actions.

I suspect that in many locations and without his testimony, most everyone would treat this differently if he was an LEO.

RJTravel
November 27, 2012, 07:19 PM
PTSD would be a flawed defense - I mean this is an old guy. Perhaps Vietnam - but we didn't even know what PTSD is back then (1966 for me). There are a lot of questions here - for example why did he arm himself with multiple weapons? Was he in waiting just hoping for an opportunity? Was he merely cleaning his guns and happened to have loaded magazines nearby? It sounds suspicious, but we just don't know. Certainly he is guilty of running his mouth regardless of truth. I will follow this one to see outcome.

Rob G
November 27, 2012, 08:51 PM
<.....? What happened here was cold blooded murder. You can defend yourself from burglars if you want, and in certain states, but executing them is a worse crime than the one they were committing.

As for the rest of it, I think we all know the rules here pretty well. This was not a justified shooting and I doubt that "insanity" would hold up in court on this one.

Art Eatman
November 27, 2012, 09:20 PM
I brought up Texas law to show that there are different levels of charges for a prosecutor to consider, and for a jury to decide. For instance, a jury can agree that he did the killing and that it was not self-defense at all. That might not carry a decision that it was premeditated.

A rational defense would be that he was so upset by the previous burglaries that he lost all self-control and acted in a fit of passion.

The "however", of course, is all his self-justification with silly mouth-music which makes him out to be--in the eyes of most people--a stupid but cold-blooded killer.

Frank Ettin
November 27, 2012, 10:33 PM
I brought up Texas law to show that there are different levels of charges for a prosecutor to consider, and for a jury to decide. For instance, a jury can agree that he did the killing and that it was not self-defense at all. That might not carry a decision that it was premeditated.... Excuse this digression. While different jurisdictions might use slightly different terminology, the following lays things out in general terms.

Homicide is the killing of one person by another. A homicide can be --


Accidental;
Negligent;
The result of reckless (or willful, wanton and reckless) conduct;
Intentional without malice (evil intent);
Intentional with malice; and
Intentional, premeditated and with malice.


An accidental homicide basically would be a death occurring as the unintended result of actions of an actor, even though the actor acted as a reasonable and prudent person in like circumstances. The actor incurs no criminal or civil liability in the case of a truly accidental homicide.

A negligent homicide would be a death occurring as the unintended result of the actions of an actor failing to use the degree of care expected of a reasonable and prudent person in like circumstances. And the actor incurs civil, but not criminal, liability in the case of a negligent homicide.

Homicides [3] - [6] are crimes: involuntary manslaughter, voluntary manslaughter, murder, and first degree murder, respectively.

The various types of homicide are defined in terms of the state of mind/intent/conduct of the actor.

If you point a gun at someone, the gun discharges and the person dies, your conduct gives rise to at least an articulable suspicion that a crime anywhere from involuntary manslaughter (pointing a gun at someone is at least reckless) to murder in the first degree has been committed. If you are claiming that you acted in self defense, you would be at least admitting the elements of voluntary manslaughter, i. e., you intentionally shot the guy.

Self defense, simple negligence or accident is a defense to a criminal charge of involuntary manslaughter, voluntary manslaughter, murder, or first degree murder. Self defense or accident is a defense against a civil claim. It will be up to you to make the case for your defense, e. g., it was an accident, it was mere negligence, it was justified.

In this particular situation, it appears that Mr. Smith would have a hard time justifying his conduct. This would work out to be at least voluntary manslaughter, and possibly even murder. Malice could be inferred from his, statement as reported in the article:...If you're trying to shoot somebody and they laugh at you, you go again,...

Frank Ettin
November 27, 2012, 11:02 PM
I do not know enough about the law,...I agree.

...I know back in Florida, use of lethal force in your dwelling was allowed beyond just 'self defense'...That shows a basic misunderstanding of Florida law (and Castle Doctrine laws in general). I discussed Florida law at length in this post (http://www.thehighroad.org/showpost.php?p=8059454&postcount=23).

Fundamentally, in Florida the standard for justifying the use of lethal force is the same inside one's home as anywhere else (Title XLVI Florida Statutes, Section 776.012 (http://www.leg.state.fl.us/statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&Search_String=&URL=0700-0799/0776/Sections/0776.012.html)):...a person is justified in the use of deadly force and does not have a duty to retreat if:

(1) He or she reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another or to prevent the imminent commission of a forcible felony; or

(2) Under those circumstances permitted pursuant to s. 776.013.

However, Section 776.013 (http://www.leg.state.fl.us/statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&Search_String=&URL=0700-0799/0776/Sections/0776.013.html) helps by providing, among other things:(1) A person is presumed to have held a reasonable fear of imminent peril of death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another when using defensive force that is intended or likely to cause death or great bodily harm to another if:

(a) The person against whom the defensive force was used was in the process of unlawfully and forcefully entering, or had unlawfully and forcibly entered, a dwelling, residence, or occupied vehicle, or if that person had removed or was attempting to remove another against that personís will from the dwelling, residence, or occupied vehicle; and

(b) The person who uses defensive force knew or had reason to believe that an unlawful and forcible entry or unlawful and forcible act was occurring or had occurred.

(2) The presumption set forth in subsection (1) does not apply if:...

The presumption allowed in 776.013 relieves someone who needs to establish his use of lethal force was justified of the need to specifically show that he had a reasonable fear of imminent death or great bodily injury if he can instead show that the person he shot (1) was in the process of unlawfully and forcefully entering, or had unlawfully and forcibly entered, a dwelling, residence, or occupied vehicle; and (2) he knew or had reason to believe that an unlawful and forcible entry or unlawful and forcible act was occurring or had occurred.

Presumptions are rebuttable, however. So evidence that the original assailant was incapacitated or had broken off his attack can rebut the presumption that the shooter reasonably feared imminent death or great bodily injury.

Here once the intruders were incapacitated, Mr. Smith's further use of lethal force would not be justifiable, even under [the inapplicable] Florida law (or similar Castle Doctrine laws).

I suspect that in many locations and without his testimony, most everyone would treat this differently if he was an LEO...Really? You believe that the public is more tolerant of the unjustifiable use of lethal force by LEOs?

TrickyDick
November 27, 2012, 11:26 PM
I'm all for the castle doctrine, but this guy went way too far. what started out as a home defense situation, quickly turned into murder. I mean, they were down, and he put one "under the chin", then not to call the police right away? he's getting fried, if not life.

HorseSoldier
November 27, 2012, 11:31 PM
However, it appears he was charged based upon his words, and less so his actions.

He was definitely charged based on his statements, which were an admission to murder.

I would hesitate to say that is the only reason he was charged. Had he kept his mouth closed, there would have been questions coming out of autopsies and crime scene analysis which would have most likely led to him facing the same charges. A self-defense shooting where you have to use multiple weapons and which wind up with somebody getting a barrel shoved up under their chin and getting shot is going to invite scrutiny.

I suspect that in many locations and without his testimony, most everyone would treat this differently if he was an LEO.

If evidence indicated that an LEO had executed a helpless suspect at the scene? They probably would treat it differently -- insofar as I haven't seen any mention yet of a civil suit and there are no reports of angry mobs and rioting in relation to this case.

Carl N. Brown
November 27, 2012, 11:37 PM
Smith (the shooter) is a retired State Department Official. They are not like most of us lesser citizens.

The criminal complaint filed against Byron Smith at:
http://stmedia.startribune.com/documents/Criminal+Complaint+-+BYRON+SMITH.pdf

Quotes from the criminal complaint establishing probable cause for detention (government document, pub domain, no (c) issues).

Smith fired a Mini-14 two shots at the young man (Brady) who then fell down the stairs, then shot him in the face.

...Smith stated that he the put the man's body on a tarp and dragged the body into his basement workshop. Smith stated that he then sat back down in his chair.

Smith stated several minutes later he again heard footsteps on the main floor of his house. Smith stated that another person came down the stairs into the basement where he was sitting. Smith said he waited until he could see her hips then he shot her. After shooting the person she tumbled down the steps. Smith stated that he tried to shoot her again with the Mini 14 but the gun jammed. Smith stated that, after the gun jammed, the woman laughed at him. Smith stated that it was not a very long laugh because she was already hurting. Smith acknowledged that this made him upset. Smith told investigatort Luberts, "If you're trying to shoot somebody and they laugh at you, you go again." Smith then pulled out his .22 caliber 9-shot revolver that he was wearing, and he shot the female several times in the chest. Smith acknowledged he fired "more shots than I needed to." Smith stated that he then dragged the female's body into his office workshop and placed her body next to the man's. Smith stated that the female was still gasping for air. Smth stated at this point he placed the handgun under the woman's chin and shot her"under the chin up into the cranium". Smith described it as "a good clean finishing shot." Smith stated he wanted to end her suffering. ...

. . . .

Smith acknowledged that he left the bodies in the basement of his residence overnight. Smith stated that on Friday morning he then called a neighbor asking if the neighbor knew any lawyers. Smith acknowledges that he never attempted to call law enforcement, but says he asked his neighbor to do so, after the neighbor was unable to assist him in obtaining a lawyer.

Averageman
November 27, 2012, 11:49 PM
Ive read a couple of articles about this guy.
Aparently ex-State Department, now that could be anything from a killer to a clerk.
His home was previously burglarized and weapons, meds and valuables were stolen in the amount of or exceeding 10K.
I would say depending on his State Department job PTSD may well be a defence, especially depending upon what meds were being used and or stolen.
Not that it makes a big difference, but these "Kids" had drug related issues and weren't the angels they may be being presented to us now as.
As I see it;
Potentially Kooky old guy with some issues and some guns meets adolesants with a drug habit and burglary skills. Two trains on the same track comming together at 90mph.
He gets 20 years because they dont have a death sentance.

Carl N. Brown
November 28, 2012, 12:20 AM
Haile Kifer, 18, and Nicholas Brady, 17, were cousins described as sending each other loads of text messages. Probably interesting evidence there.

Yes, some kids have insunuated they were involved in drugs.

To play devil's advocate: if I shot two druggies, delivered coup de graces to assure they were dead, altered the crime scene dragging bodies about, kept the bodies in my basement overnight, had a neighbor notify police the next day, I would suspect myself of killing my drug supplier/buyer and trying to cover it up. The evidence such as it is fits multiple scenarios.

kyletx1911
November 28, 2012, 06:23 AM
That was just plain murder. No defense.
Murder pure and simple

Zoogster
November 28, 2012, 06:51 AM
It honestly seems more like murder that was then attempted to be covered with a self defense story.

I mean really someone fired a loud deafening rifle (but far enough away that it will certainly have been heard, not auditorily cut off) a guy tumbled down, got shot more with additional loud rifle shots, and then a girl who heard mutiple shots from a rifle indoors decides she is going to walk down as well?
And then they both manage to get shot first in similar places?
It sounds like in the groin because he says he saw thier hips and shot as they descended, that is his story to justify his shots to those areas.

Then he moves them around his place. Notifies police the following day. On top of that has this story to explain how he shot them with multiple weapons from multiple angles.
The story he told or made up sounds like second degree murder alone, but does not ring true. I think his made up story is actually better than what he really did.

Two teens, with initial shots in the groin, and an execution with a .22 put under the head and fired.
This sounds a lot more like an interrogation or torture that included shooting and execution than the story he told to police.
Shot in the groin or stomach, finished off with a .22.
And assuming they even all happened quickly as he says is assuming a lot, there could have been some time between the groin shots, or other shots, and the execution.
It makes a lot more sense that it was something more criminal than his story of an 18 year old unarmed girl deciding to decend into a home after hearing multiple rifle shots shoot the person that went in before her.


Whether he kidnapped them, or forced them into the home, or they were drug dealers, or he was interogating/torturing them for information about his previous theft. Something is definitely missing from the story.
The shot placement, the story to cover it up, the multiple calibers, the variety of angles from into the groin to under the chin, moving the bodies around the place, waiting a day and then having a neighbor call, tumbling down stairs that probably explains bruises or injuries, his story (that would still itself be criminal) sounds so ridiculous it seems like it is meant to cover up some other things.
It was probably something more along the lines of first degree murder, of two people, maybe with elements of torture.
I think the real story is a bit different than the one he gave to police, as bad as the one he may have made up sounds.

Blackstone
November 28, 2012, 07:04 AM
Chilling story...

mnrivrat
November 28, 2012, 08:00 AM
retired after a career as a security officer with the U.S. State Department.

And that is troubling in itself !

This story reads like an unbelievable B movie nightmare on Elm street . If the story is accurate, then it would certainly justify the charges placed against this guy.
Amazing that this could happen in real life . What type of thinking process could bring this story to reality !

JT-AR-MG42
November 28, 2012, 08:49 AM
Sounds like he is in trouble alright. And I am in no way agreeing with his actions after the initial shootings of either teen.

I'll play Devil's advocate for this and ask 'how would you have responded'?

Keep in mind that the reports read like the teens DID break into his home.

If I was in my mid 60's and in my basement - trapped - with or without a phone and heard someone break in above me and start down the stairs, I do not think I would yell a warning or fire a warning shot.

I would also feel certain that a second person coming down the stairs after hearing the shots would either be armed or at the least be coming down to see what her partner in crime HAD shot.

I sure as heck wouldn't wait until I saw their hands to make a decision. It is MY home. And I'm not about to get into a fight with an 18 year old for my gun or let them go back up the stairs which would effectively leave me trapped.

The idea of telling a person to 'stop, or I'll shoot' would leave you with the scenario of shooting them in the back as they turned to go back up the stairs. We know the sight of a gun does not necessarily lead to instant compliance with verbal commands.
Again you would then be their prisoner, until you decided to go up to find out whether there was a trap waiting.
I mean, how long would you sit in the basement before deciding they had left?
Or as YODA mentioned, they might set fire to the house above you.

In the real world, an 18 year old can pretty much overpower a man in his mid 60s every time, especially with the element of surprise.

Again, there is no justifying his actions after the initial shootings.
In the senior's defense. Well, he didn't start it.

Bad decisions lead to bad luck. Sounds like the case for all concerned.

JT

Zoogster
November 28, 2012, 02:51 PM
His story is bizarre.

Do you really believe an unarmed 18 year old female decided to descend into the house after hearing multiple .223 rifle shots?

According to his story he shot the male multiple times, dragged him a ways, then waited. Shooting the female when she then came down.


If there was one bizarre thing you may be able to dismiss it. But there is several.

He moves bodies, waits over a day, and then has a neighbor call instead of himself, and his excuse is to not bother them on the holiday? So does he not have a phone, why did the neighbor call?

Even beyond his execution shots, his story adds in a lot of bizarre things.


As I said in prior post it really sounds more like a story to cover up something even worse.
A good medical examiner may be able to tell the time apart the wounds happened prior to death, and whether bruising from falling down the stairs is consistent with that and an immediate death or allowed for some time prior to death.
Conveniently though he waited over a day to even report the shooting.
He has excuses for moving them around the place, blood and evidence moved around.
They may be able to determine if everything happened as he said, or it was something even worse.

And the report of them really breaking in doesn't necessarily change all that. He could have broken out his own window. Likewise even if they did break in, he could have held them inside, threatened or questioned them, shot them with the less lethal wounds in the groin or lower body, and then killed them with the head shots at some point.
The tumble of each of them down the stairs could also be to explain some beating or bruising done to them.
Since he moved the bodies all around, it is harder to even determine why blood or tissue is even various places.
I wonder how good the detectives or medical examiner of this small Minnesota place with 8,300 people will even be.

And all of those details mattered that day, the longer the amount of time between the shooting and investigation, or exploring different angles, the more difficult those little details would be to determine. So if the 8,300 person town didn't do what was needed initially or didn't have people skilled enough, those details may be lost.


Those details would also be the difference between a death sentence or life in prison, and two 10-20 year sentences (although 20 years for someone over 60 is essentially a remainder of thier life sentence in prison, as it would require living up to or past 80 in the conditions of prison.) Although I think he thought his story wouldn't lead to prison time, even with the finishing shots and all, but I don't buy his story.

BSA1
November 28, 2012, 03:21 PM
Zoogster,

Your twisted mind works the same way mine does.

xXxplosive
November 28, 2012, 03:45 PM
Could we please have the definition of....Lethal or Deadly Force.
Regardless of how we've all been trained here to think and react....the law states he was able to use Lethal or deadly Force......what does that legally mean ?

Not defending his actions but if those two were home reading and not a pending Home Invasion.....none of this would have happened.

Bobson
November 28, 2012, 03:56 PM
609.065 JUSTIFIABLE TAKING OF LIFE.

The intentional taking of the life of another is not authorized by section 609.06, except when necessary in resisting or preventing an offense which the actor reasonably believes exposes the actor or another to great bodily harm or death, or preventing the commission of a felony in the actor's place of abode.

The above is Minnesota's law for the use of lethal force. Note the part about felony in place of abode. As far as I know, there is no prior case law considering this in Minnesota.

The two people broke a window to enter the home.

I do not agree with what the man did but the above is MN law. What he did was wrong in my opinion.
He didnt kill them to prevent a felony. He had already prevented the felony before he executed each teenager. Then, once the prevention of a felony was complete, he executed the teens, because he wanted them dead.

He admitted to murder, plain and simple. He should receive the minimum 21 years for each count, and spend the rest of just his life watching tv and pissing correctional officers off, unless he lives past 102 years old.

Bobson
November 28, 2012, 04:01 PM
Could we please have the definition of....Lethal or Deadly Force.
Regardless of how we've all been trained here to think and react....the law states he was able to use Lethal or deadly Force......what does that legally mean ?

Not defending his actions but if those two were home reading and not a pending Home Invasion.....none of this would have happened.
Minnesota law states he could use lethal force to prevent the commission of a felony inside his home. So he was justified in shooting them.

However, at the point that the victims were laying on the ground clinging to life, the possibility of them committing a felony was absolutely gone. He then shot them again. That becomes murder.

Its that simple, no debate necessary. If he walks, the prosecutor failed terribly in voir dire.

xXxplosive
November 28, 2012, 04:57 PM
Well..............I see your point and it's well taken....on the other hand not condoning what the defendant did.....just because the BG's are down doesn't necessarilly mean it's over....down and stiring to get up or retrieve a weapon ?
Although there is nothing here on tape, no visual except his testimony.....he's relying on the Home Invasion premis and being out numbered by the BG's as a defense, which just might be plausable in this case.
Wouldn't be so quick here to send him off to prison untill there is a good clarification of what exactly is justifiable by law in one's own home during an invasion with intent to rob, steal, mame or kill the home owner.
Remember, he WAS in his own home minding his own business............

Jeff White
November 28, 2012, 05:32 PM
Although there is nothing here on tape, no visual except his testimony.....he's relying on the Home Invasion premis and being out numbered by the BG's as a defense, which just might be plausable in this case.

Really? Plausible?

You can read the criminal complaint here:

http://stmedia.startribune.com/documents/Criminal+Complaint+-+BYRON+SMITH.pdf

All that exists is the physical evidence and Smith's own statements which are related in the criminal complaint. Smith told Investigator Luberts after being Mirandized, that the shot the girl to "end her suffering" when she was gasping for air after he had shot her multiple times in the chest with his .22 pistol then dragged her into his workshop and she was gasping for air.

So this 18 year old girl is laying on the floor of his workshop with at least one .223 round in her and multiple .22 rounds in her chest and torso, gasping for air and a reasonable person would believe that Smith was afraid she was going to harm him and he was justified in placing the barrel of his .22 under her chin and firing into her cranium?

I think even if he had just said "they broke into my house and I was afraid for my life so I shot them" and then lawyered up, the physical evidence would reveal what really happened.

Wouldn't be so quick here to send him off to prison untill there is a good clarification of what exactly is justifiable by law in one's own home during an invasion with intent to rob, steal, mame or kill the home owner.

The county sheriff does a pretty good job of explaining it here:

http://www.startribune.com/video/180889941.html

At the point he killed them they were no longer a threat to anyone.

HorseSoldier
November 28, 2012, 05:43 PM
The point isn't that he used deadly force to neutralize a threat, it is that he then subsequently used deadly force to execute persons who were no longer a threat. Their actions prior to the point where they were incapacitated -- while clearly criminal -- aren't relevant.

Cosmoline
November 28, 2012, 05:55 PM
I really don't see a lot of lessons to be learned here, other than don't break into houses of psychos and don't be a psycho. The dude thought the girl was LAUGHING at him after taking a rifle round to the chest! That's some deep psychosis right there. Very deep. Ironically they were probably targeting him for his RX drugs. Not smart, but he needs to be put away for ever.

I mean, he STACKED THE BODIES UP and apparently slept well before making any efforts to report what happened. Absolute, grade A psychotic monster.

He's also way, way beyond any self defense doctrine by his own admission. The coup de grace shots alone are murder.

xXxplosive
November 28, 2012, 05:58 PM
I understand that completely and agree....but it will be up to a sharp attorney to make this look legit.....that's all I'm sayin'. But again, the law states he can use deadly force.....to what extent will be determined in court.

climbnjump
November 28, 2012, 06:01 PM
Not that it justifies how this ended up, of course, but it appears that the two teens were "experienced":

http://www.startribune.com/local/181189391.html

Anyone want to lay odds on the house where they died being only their second job?

Just speculation, but if the gal had consumed some of the items they obtained earlier in the day, it might explain her strange behavior of proceeding down the stairs after hearing the shots and then laughing after initially being shot herself.

cassandrasdaddy
November 28, 2012, 06:04 PM
watch the video it shows house explains the stairs/basement thing.

Cosmoline
November 28, 2012, 06:07 PM
I suspect the laughter was in the shooter's mind. It was more likely convulsive breathing/crying after taking a .223 round to the torso. The dude has some major mental problems. Dude shoots the first intruder, finishes him off, organizes the body, moves it, sits down to continue whatever he was doing before, then shoots the next intruder, thinks she's laughting at him which enrages him, shoots her a bunch more times before dragging her over to the growing body pile and finishing her off "cleanly."

Carl N. Brown
November 28, 2012, 06:14 PM
Altering the crime scene by moving the bodies is a defense killer. It screams cover up of something to the average person in the jury pool.

xXxplosive
November 28, 2012, 06:33 PM
Still not sure how a jury would perceive this whole incident.....wouldn't bet the farm on the outcome here...sorry.

Frank Ettin
November 28, 2012, 06:43 PM
...But again, the law states he can use deadly force.....to what extent will be determined in court. I'm sorry, but according to your profile here you're an NRA certified firearms instructor, so you really should have a better understanding of this.

The applicable law (see post 49), states that one may be justified in using lethal force:...when necessary in resisting or preventing an offense which the actor reasonably believes exposes the actor or another to great bodily harm or death, or preventing the commission of a felony in the actor's place of abode.And while it will be finally up to a court, the currently available facts, including Mr. Smith's own statements, seem to show very strongly that he continued to use lethal force even after it was no longer necessary to prevent or resist anything.

Trent
November 28, 2012, 06:50 PM
Under no legal or moral set of guidelines, period, should it be permissible for anyone to coup de grace an unarmed, heavily wounded, teenage girl.

Or shoot someone in the legs with a high powered rifle before properly identifying that they are even a threat.

Or continue to store the bodies in the basement overnight before notifying authorities.

I can't fathom how a conversation against these principles is even feasible here.

Arkansas Paul
November 28, 2012, 07:29 PM
I'm with you Trent. It's mind boggling.

k_dawg
November 28, 2012, 07:48 PM
I agree.

That shows a basic misunderstanding of Florida law (and Castle Doctrine laws in general). I discussed Florida law at length in this post (http://www.thehighroad.org/showpost.php?p=8059454&postcount=23).

Fundamentally, in Florida the standard for justifying the use of lethal force is the same inside one's home as anywhere else (Title XLVI Florida Statutes, Section 776.012 (http://www.leg.state.fl.us/statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&Search_String=&URL=0700-0799/0776/Sections/0776.012.html)):

However, Section 776.013 (http://www.leg.state.fl.us/statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&Search_String=&URL=0700-0799/0776/Sections/0776.013.html) helps by providing, among other things:

The presumption allowed in 776.013 relieves someone who needs to establish his use of lethal force was justified of the need to specifically show that he had a reasonable fear of imminent death or great bodily injury if he can instead show that the person he shot (1) was in the process of unlawfully and forcefully entering, or had unlawfully and forcibly entered, a dwelling, residence, or occupied vehicle; and (2) he knew or had reason to believe that an unlawful and forcible entry or unlawful and forcible act was occurring or had occurred.

Presumptions are rebuttable, however. So evidence that the original assailant was incapacitated or had broken off his attack can rebut the presumption that the shooter reasonably feared imminent death or great bodily injury.


Sec 776.012 (1) ends with 'or'. Not 'and'.

It does not couple the requirements of (1) with (2) Sec 776.013

Sec 776.013 has no mention of incapacitation. It includes both "occuring" and "Had occured". You would be correct if the statute did not include 'had occured', or if the word 'and' was used instead of 'or' in (1).

The only avenue would be for the prosecution to demonstrate that they did not forcibly enter the premise.

As I stated, this is specific to Florida law.

Frank Ettin
November 28, 2012, 07:56 PM
...As I stated, this is specific to Florida law....And as you stated in post 30:I do not know enough about the law,...The presumption under 776.013 that one:...held a reasonable fear of imminent peril of death or great bodily harm...would be rebutted by evidence that the original assailant had been clearly incapacitated to the point that a reasonable person could not believe that he presented a lethal threat.

In any case, Florida law is irrelevant here.

Husker_Fan
November 28, 2012, 08:31 PM
Frank is right. Castle doctrine doesn't act like a shield. In a normal self-defense case, it is up to the defense to prove to the finder of fact (usually a jury) that it was more likely than not an act of legitimate self defense.

Castle doctrine shifts the burden to the prosecutor who then has to rebut the presumption of self defense beyond a reasonable doubt. In other words, the jury presumes it was an act of self defense until the prosecutor proves otherwise.

Fullboar1
November 29, 2012, 01:29 AM
On another Media Report it said he had shot the Girl 7 times before executing her with what he called "a good finishing shot". When he dragged them into another room he placed them on a tarp, maybe de didn't want blood on his concrete (pretty convenient hey).

No one is arguing that he didn't have the right to shoot them defending himself and his home but it's what he did next is what I have a problem with (and everyone else too). Being a Security Guard for the State Department you would think he has a idea that constitutes "excessive" deadly force.

I hate thieves and IMO these were a couple of dumb kids who broke into the wrong house. I can't believe that some would justify this nut jobs actions but I'm glad most can see this for what it is an Execution Style Murders dressed up as Self Defence.

LemmyCaution
November 29, 2012, 07:59 AM
Like others in this thread, I'm eager for the results of the forensic investigation to come out.

The guy's story stinks to high heaven. The timeline of events makes zero sense, and sounds like a complicated alibi to cover up a drug deal gone south involving illicit prescription meds.

Clearly, no one involved seems a sympathetic character.

xXxplosive
November 29, 2012, 09:59 AM
Sorry Frank, but being a NRA Cert. Instructor this my 21st yr......has no bearing on what I think a jury will or will not do. Especially since each state has it's own interpretation of it's statutes. NJ certainly does and to be honest I nor a good attorney here could explain them to you...that's how clouded they are.

Forget about your or my personal feelings about this matter.....the courts / prosecutors have their own ideas and so do jurys.....which are unpredictable at best.
Guess, we'll just have to wait and see how it plays out.....as I said, we do not condone his actions in any way other than his right to self-defense.

Art Eatman
November 29, 2012, 11:24 AM
We've thrashed around enough for this thread. Let's wait and see how it plays out, a bit further down the timeline, and look into it again.

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