How Much Is To Much ....?

Discussion in 'The Fire For Effect and Totally Politically Incorr' started by JohnHenry, Dec 2, 2012.

  1. JohnHenry

    JohnHenry Well-Known Member

    Apr 30, 2011
    Livingston county, Michigan
    Two kids break into a Minnesota man’s home on Thanksgiving. He shoots them dead. At what point did self-defense turn into second-degree murder charges? Winston Ross talks to experts.




    Had he stopped shooting after they were on the ground—stopped with blasts from his Mini-14 rifle packing .223-caliber ammunition, the same rounds U.S. forces use in Afghanistan and Iraq—Byron David Smith might still be a free man.

    Family members of the victims listen as Morrison County Sheriff Michel Wetzel describes the brutal shooting by Byron David Smith in Little Falls, Minnesota on November 26, 2012. Smith was charged in Morrison County District Court with two counts of second-degree murder without premeditation in the killings of Nicholas Brady, 17, and his cousin Haile Kifer, 18. (Elizabeth Flores, Minneapolis Star Tribune / MCT / Landov ; AP Photo)

    But Smith, a 64-year-old retired State. Dept technician, didn’t stop there, say Minnesota authorities. He shot the two teenaged intruders who crept down the stairwell into his basement on Thanksgiving day until they were both dead.

    That’s the obvious part about last week’s killing of 17-year-old Nicholas Brady and 18-year-old Haile Kifer, gunned down after they allegedly broke into Smith’s home in the 8,000-population town of Little Falls, in central Minnesota. Had Smith only fired two shots that day—one at each of the intruders—no one would question his right to do so. Minnesota statute 609.065 allows “the intentional taking of the life of another” if “resisting or preventing the commission of a felony in the actor’s place of abode.” It’s been that way since 1969. Smith had a right to shoot, and he had a right to shoot to kill.

    “We understand that right. We respect that right. We know that right exists,” said Morrison County Sheriff Michel Wetzel in a press conference following Smith’s arrest.

    Now Smith is in jail, facing charges of second-degree murder, and while what happened in that basement while people across America were whipping up mashed potatoes might sound clearly to some a case of “cold-blooded” murder, as County Attorney Brian Middendorf later described it, the right to self-defense is actually a very complex topic, and its laws vary state-by-state.

    First, the facts, at least those described in a criminal complaint filed by Middendorf and reviewed by The Daily Beast: Smith was by himself in his home around midday on Thanksgiving, “sitting in his basement,” he told police. He heard footsteps, then a window breaking upstairs, then more footsteps down the hallway. Smith looked up to see a person walking down the stairwell into the basement, aimed his rifle, and shot that person, who turned out to be 17-year-old Nicholas Brady. Brady fell down the stairs, at which point he was looking up at the homeowner. Smith shot the boy in the face, he told police, explaining, “I want him dead.”

    Smith then dragged Brady’s body on a tarp, into the basement workshop, he told police, and sat back down in his chair. A few minutes later came more footsteps, down the stairs and into the basement. Smith waited “until he could see her hips” and fired again, at which point 18-year-old Haile Kifer tumbled down the stairs. He tried to shoot her again but the rifle jammed, at which point he claimed the girl laughed at him.

    “Smith acknowledged this made him upset,” according to the complaint. “Smith told (the investigator) ‘If you’re trying to shoot somebody and they laugh at you, you go again.’” So he reached for the .22 caliber revolver strapped to his chest, aimed it at the girl, and shot her in the chest “several times,” with “more shots than I needed to,” according to what he told police.

    Then, as Kifer lay gasping for air, Smith put his handgun under her chin and shot her—his words—“under the chin up into the cranium… a good clean finishing shot” to end her suffering.

    “People are going to wonder what can we do and what can’t we do to defend ourselves.”

    At some point, legal experts who have reviewed the case told The Daily Beast, Smith was acting in self-defense, in full accordance with Minnesota law. The Little Falls sheriff, in a press conference this week, did his best to clarify the point at which he believed Smith stepped over the line.

    “There’s a great deal of confusion that can occur in a case like this,” he said. “People are going to wonder what can we do and what can’t we do to defend ourselves.”

    The use of force must be “reasonable,” the sheriff explained.

    But what’s reasonable? How many shots could Smith have fired and still avoided charges? The sheriff said “there’s no bright-line test about how many shots or how much time…When it becomes clear there is no longer a threat to you, you are no longer entitled to take life.”
  2. Alpo

    Alpo Well-Known Member

    Feb 3, 2007
    NW Florida
    By that description, yeah, he murdered them kids.

    Pretty much anywhere you are allowed to shoot in self defense. If he had shot the first guy and then shot him two or three more times as he fell, and I was on the jury, I'd buy self defense. But to shoot, then walk over to him and give the coup de grace, then move the body and lie in wait for the next one, shoot her, change guns, shoot her several times, then walk over and give her the coup de grace? That's murder.
  3. 01brian

    01brian New Member

    Dec 7, 2011
    I agree with Alpo.
  4. hstout1143

    hstout1143 Well-Known Member

    Jan 3, 2012
    Going off of the info that was given in your post. I would vote guilty of murder.
  5. GunnyGene

    GunnyGene New Member

    Oct 12, 2012
    What concerns me is if they had only been wounded, then arrested on B&E, serve a couple years (maybe less), and come back looking for revenge. It does happen.
  6. cycloneman

    cycloneman Well-Known Member

    Dec 16, 2008
    Boy this guy Smith is kinda stupid eh?
  7. ejkoechling

    ejkoechling Well-Known Member

    Oct 15, 2012
    Imperial, MO
    What a shame , and this will be scripted to the media and put a hurt on all gun owners every where. He crossed the line,not just once but twice and then changed guns to finish the girl OFF. I can understand him shooting the intruders, but where is the compassion for life here. The man obviously has more issues than what we all know
  8. Old Grump

    Old Grump New Member

    Feb 21, 2010
    Little hut in the woods near Blue River Wisconsin
    Ex Security for the State Department, he had been broken into before. These kids were after drugs. Did they know he had desirable drugs and if he did what were they and what is his medical condition mentally speaking. A finishing shot then waiting two days before telling the authorities is not the actions of an innocent or sane man. There is more to this story than we are likely to ever find out because the so called journalists got their minute of blood story and could care less about why this happened.


    Jan 29, 2012
    This guy is a moron. But I wonder what the rest of the story is? He shot the boy, she heard the gun fire and still came down the stairs? If I was in that situation I would be more concerned with her and lit her up as well. But getting another gun and executing her? That is a bit much. Also he ran his mouth to the cops that's a huge no no..
  10. aa1911

    aa1911 Active Member

    Dec 12, 2010
    Pacific Northwest
    woah. sounds like a nut case, I think OldGrump is on target with this one.

    execution style shot? not on this side of the pond. have fun spending the rest of your days in prison there guy.
  11. glens67

    glens67 Well-Known Member

    Dec 19, 2010
    Middleton, ID
  12. montezumaz

    montezumaz Former Guest

    Aug 19, 2012
    Central AZ (Yavapai County)
  13. Sgt 45

    Sgt 45 Active Member

    Nov 22, 2011
    Ann Arbor, Mi
    I trust the Daily Beast about as much as I trust the phony in the White House. That said, I'd vote for murder in this one. It's the finishing shots in both cases that that screwed him.
  14. mogunner

    mogunner Well-Known Member

    Oct 31, 2011
    Eastern Missouri
    A phone call to 911 after the first shot, when the kid fell down the stairs and the shooter could see he wasn't armed, instead of sitting and "waiting" to see if someone else would fall into his trap would have gone a long way to establishing self defense, IF he wasn't a total idiot and shot them so many times, OR opened his ignorant mouth... the man convicted himself already, won't take long for the court to do the same.
  15. SmallCaliberGuy

    SmallCaliberGuy Active Member

    Oct 22, 2012
    Either this guy is a total nut job or....he didn't actually say all those things.

    Problem is, we will never hear the full story now.

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