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Home owner charged with killing burglars

 
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    Posted: Nov 27 2012 at 3:35am
'They didn't deserve to die': Outrage after popular students are found murdered in man's basement after 'they robbed his home on Thanksgiving'


  • Bodies of Haile Kifer, 18, and Nick Brady Schaeffel, 17, found day after they were shot during break-in
  • Byron Smith, 64, admitted to killing the teens during police search
  • Minnesota law allows people to use deadly force when protecting their homes - but prosecutors claim he used more than necessary
  • Smith charged with second-degree murder 'after telling police he shot more times than necessary because Kifer laughed when his gun jammed'

By LYDIA WARREN and ASSOCIATED PRESS



PUBLISHED: 12:39 EST, 26 November 2012 UPDATED: 19:19 EST, 26 November 2012

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Friends and family have expressed their outrage over the deaths of two popular students shot by a homeowner while they robbed his home - as he revealed he fired 'more shots than he needed to'.

The bodies of cousins Haile Kifer, 18, and Nicholas Brady Schaeffel, 17, were found in Byron Smith's basement in Little Falls, Minnesota on Friday - the day after they were shot dead on Thanksgiving.

When police arrived at his home after reports of suspicious activity, Smith, 64, confessed to shooting the teenagers repeatedly and stashing their bodies after they broke into his home, authorities said.

On Monday, he was charged with second-degree murder and police revealed he told them he fired more shots than necessary after his gun jammed and Kifer laughed at him.


Haile KiferNick Brady


A person has every right to defend themselves and their homes, even employing deadly force if necessary,' Morrison County Sheriff Michel Wetzel said. 'Circumstances of this case however, led deputies to believe that Smith went beyond that point.'

And as he was charged on Monday, his intentions to shoot the teens dead became clear.

In a criminal complaint, Smith said he was in the basement of his home when he heard a window breaking and footsteps. Fearful of other recent break-ins, he shot Schaeffel when he came into view.

When the teenager tumbled down the stars, Smith shot him in the face as he lay on the floor, looking up.

'I want him dead,' the complaint quoted Smith as telling an investigator.

He dragged the body into his workshop and then sat in the chair, the complaint said. When Kifer began walking down the stairs, he shot her and she fell down the stairs.

He tried to shoot her again with his rifle, but the gun jammed and Kifer laughed at him, the complaint noted.

'If you're trying to shoot somebody and they laugh at you, you go again,' Smith, 64, told investigators, according to a criminal complaint filed Monday.

He then shot her several times in the chest with a .22-caliber revolver, dragged her next to her cousin, and with as she gasped for air, fired a shot under her chin 'up into the cranium'.

'Smith described it as "a good clean finishing shot",' according to the compliant, and acknowledged he had fired 'more shots than (he) needed to'.

Smith said he left the bodies in his home overnight before calling a neighbor to ask if he knew a good lawyer. He later asked the neighbour to contact police.



Emma Schmidt, a fellow classmate at Little Falls High School, said Kifer was talented and well-liked and 'everyone's wondering' what she was doing in Smith's basement.

Further insight into the lives of the cousins was given by Brady's sister, Crystal Shaeffel, as she visited Smith's home and spoke with his brother.

'They were 17 and 18 years old, and didn't need to die,' she told Bruce Smith.

'That all depends on your perspective,' he responded, referring to a series of break-ins his brother had endured. In one in October, thieves stole $10,000 worth of guns and electronics, he said.

But Shaeffel insisted that her brother had no need to turn to burglary, as he made good money working for their father's tree-trimming business.

She added that her cousin, who had undergone treatment for substance abuse, could have been after pills from the home.


'Yes, she had an addiction problem and stuff, but that doesn't mean she deserves to get murdered at 18 years old,' Shaeffel said. 'I understand they came there to rob them, or whatever, but shoot them in the shoulder and call the cops.'

On the Facebook page, friends agreed that the shootings were too severe.

'It doesn't matter what they were or weren't doing there,' Mike Boulley wrote. 'They were KIDS that didn't deserve to die. Defending your property against armed burglars is one thing, gunning down two unarmed teenagers is just inexcusable.'

Logan Ayres added: 'It's hard to see such nice people lose their lives to something that could of been so easily taken care of instead of murder. R.I.P. nick and halie you will be dearly missed.'

Smith, 64, a former government employee who reportedly worked in security for the U.S. State Department, was arrested on Friday and is being held on $2 million bail.



According to his friends, Smith said that he had didn’t go to police immediately after the shooting because he panicked about the deaths.

'He was very traumatized by what had occurred and didn’t know who to call or what to do and that is very sad that the whole thing even happened,' Kathy Lange told KSTP-TV.

His brother, Bruce Smith, said that this was the latest of eight burglaries in recent years.

Byron Smith said that he suspected that the two had been responsible for at least some of those past robberies.

Neighbours told the Star Tribune he kept to himself, but they complained that he regularly shot guns on his property and said they were concerned children playing nearby could be hurt.



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Edited by bindy - Nov 27 2012 at 3:37am
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f8dagrate View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote f8dagrate Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov 27 2012 at 3:43am
omg this man has some major quotes in this articleLOLLOL ohh yea rip to the little thieves.Cry
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (8) Thanks(8)   Quote Lady ICE Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov 27 2012 at 3:51am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (23) Thanks(23)   Quote f8dagrate Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov 27 2012 at 3:55am
shooee if those teenagers were black this article would have many different descriptions in it..

"black male adult thug and his baby mama(laquentaneta), ransacked an elderly man in his home; who had no other choice but to shoot or be shot".LOL


Edited by f8dagrate - Nov 27 2012 at 3:55am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote bindy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov 27 2012 at 3:56am
Originally posted by f8dagrate f8dagrate wrote:

shooee if those teenagers were black this article would have many different descriptions in it..

"black male adult thug and his baby mama(laquentaneta), ransacked an elderly man in his home; who had no other choice but to shoot or be shot".LOL
LOLLOL
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (14) Thanks(14)   Quote sexibeach Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov 27 2012 at 4:14am
He messed up by not calling immediately and talking too damn much.. if he had let her live after that first shot she wouldn't be laughing for long she would have been charged with her boyfriends murder even tho she didn't shoot him.. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (11) Thanks(11)   Quote tatee Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov 27 2012 at 5:03am
his mistake was stashing the bodies and not calling the police right away.  he acted guilty so theyre assuming he is and he probably acted guilty because he enjoyed it. whatever his ultimate reason for killing them, if you break into someones home dont be all surprised that you wake up dead.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (3) Thanks(3)   Quote khivey Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov 27 2012 at 5:28am
I don't believe this story. I think he knew them and they knew him. The whole "she laughed" after he shot her the first time..not to mention she stiiiiiiiiiillllllllllllllll went down the stairs after she heard shots go off? Who does that? 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Midna Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov 27 2012 at 6:50am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (7) Thanks(7)   Quote bunzaveli Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov 27 2012 at 7:05am
wow this dude was waiting to kill someone, and they gave him the opportunity when they tried to steal his belongings. they chose the wrong one that day. poor white people. 

Edited by bunzaveli - Nov 27 2012 at 7:05am
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