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Homeowner who shot burglars

Mango TangoMango Tango Posts: 2,018 Captain
http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/04/29/minnesota-homeowner-kills-teens/8480047/

The prosecutor convinced the jury that it was the homeowner's fault the thieves broke in.
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Replies

  • duckmanJRduckmanJR Posts: 21,265 AG
    Just two dead scumbags...what's the big deal....Is there a shortage?
    There are many roads to travel
    Many things to do.
    Knots to be unraveled
    'fore the darkness falls on you
  • cprcpr Posts: 9,299 Admiral
    If he did it in Fl no problem. Those young men he shot didn't belong in his house, period.
    "The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function." F. Scott Fitzgerald

    "Prediction is very difficult, especially if it's about the future." Niels Bohr
  • divn4$divn4$ Posts: 1,529 Captain
    cpr wrote: »
    Those young men he shot didn't belong in his house, period.

    One was a girl, but who's keeping track.
    1376843400_20_1_USD_6.25_default.png


    Go Navy.....
  • NACl H2O LuvrNACl H2O Luvr Posts: 12,388 AG
    Orput played excerpts of Smith's interview with law enforcement after his arrest and highlighted portions that he said showed Smith as a vigilante, planning and waiting for the opportunity to kill.
    Jurors heard what Smith said in the five hours after the killings.

    From link in OP.......I believe there is a lesson to be learned here.
  • Gary S. ColecchioGary S. Colecchio Posts: 24,905 AG
    ...there is a lesson to be learned here.

    Not everyone necessarily subscribes to your personal reality.

    Interesting and effective prosecution .
    "If I can't win, I won't play." - Doris Colecchio.

    "Well Gary, the easiest way to look tall is to stand in a room full of short people." - Curtis Bostick

    "All these forums, with barely any activity, are like a neglected old cemetery that no one visits anymore."- anonymouse
  • cprcpr Posts: 9,299 Admiral
    divn4$ wrote: »
    One was a girl, but who's keeping track.

    yep, dead is dead
    "The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function." F. Scott Fitzgerald

    "Prediction is very difficult, especially if it's about the future." Niels Bohr
  • cadmancadman Posts: 43,623 AG
    cpr wrote: »
    If he did it in Fl no problem. Those young men he shot didn't belong in his house, period.

    Setting a trap to kill burglars is illegal in Florida as well. That was the prosecutions case. He set a trap to kill someone who would break into his house.

    You can't set a shotgun to go off when the front door is kicked in.

    Former Mini Mart Magnate

    I am just here for my amusement. 

  • cprcpr Posts: 9,299 Admiral
    I wouldn't call parking my truck somewhere out of site a trap.
    "The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function." F. Scott Fitzgerald

    "Prediction is very difficult, especially if it's about the future." Niels Bohr
  • Mango TangoMango Tango Posts: 2,018 Captain
    cadman wrote: »
    He set a trap to kill someone who would break into his house.

    ........a matter semantics.

    How about, I have a plan to use deadly force if someone breaks into my house.

    Don't you?
  • cadmancadman Posts: 43,623 AG
    cpr wrote: »
    I wouldn't call parking my truck somewhere out of site a trap.

    There seems to be more to the story than simply moving a truck. I was just explaining the premise of the prosecution and the same prosecution could be used in Florida if they thought you were setting a trap. I doubt just leaving the truck got him convicted. I don't think a jury would convict without some convincing evidence.

    Former Mini Mart Magnate

    I am just here for my amusement. 

  • Gary S. ColecchioGary S. Colecchio Posts: 24,905 AG
    ........a matter semantics.

    How about, I have a plan to use deadly force if someone breaks into my house.

    Don't you?

    Not the same thing. You do not move your vehicle to make it appear that you are not home, then quietly lie in wait to ambush them. People who are not seeking revenge make their homes appear that they are at home by turning on lights and other indications that it is being occupied to dissuade burglary. Not invite it. That was why this jury agreed with the prosecution in only two hours of deliberation.
    "If I can't win, I won't play." - Doris Colecchio.

    "Well Gary, the easiest way to look tall is to stand in a room full of short people." - Curtis Bostick

    "All these forums, with barely any activity, are like a neglected old cemetery that no one visits anymore."- anonymouse
  • cadmancadman Posts: 43,623 AG
    ........a matter semantics.

    How about, I have a plan to use deadly force if someone breaks into my house.

    Don't you?

    Having a plan to retrieve my weapon and defend my life is a little different than sitting armed in the basement waiting on the criminals to arrive. I don't know all the details, but the prosecution convinced a jury he baited a trap. I doubt the jury wanted to convict anyone who simply defended themselves in a break in. Minn has a castle doctrine law so there was no duty to retreat before defending himself during a break in.

    Sorry Gary, typed at the same time.

    Former Mini Mart Magnate

    I am just here for my amusement. 

  • ChuckcChuckc Posts: 4,397 Captain
    Not the same thing. You do not move your vehicle to make it appear that you are not home, then quietly lie in wait to ambush them. People who are not seeking revenge make their homes appear that they are at home by turning on lights and other indications that it is being occupied to dissuade burglary. Not invite it. That was why this jury agreed with the prosecution in only two hours of deliberation.

    I wonder if he had attempted a citizens arrest first if it would have made a difference. A game camera might have been effective enough to get the punks arrested but then they would likely have walked anyway.
  • GA FinGA Fin Posts: 8,945 Admiral
    Someone in your home? I care not if they were "baited". They should not be there. :machinegun
    Straight white male living a life of privilege and proud of it.


    "The greatest pleasure is to vanquish your enemies and chase them before you, to rob them of their wealth and see those dear to them bathed in tears, to ride their horses and clasp to your bosom their wives and daughters."
  • cadmancadman Posts: 43,623 AG
    Chuckc wrote: »
    I wonder if he had attempted a citizens arrest first if it would have made a difference. A game camera might have been effective enough to get the punks arrested but then they would likely have walked anyway.

    I think the first thing was not to move the truck. The second might have been to keep his mouth shut. It appears from the article he made a lot of remarks that sealed his fate. Either that or he recorded the entire event. They played recordings of him planning it, How did they know what he said to himself?

    Former Mini Mart Magnate

    I am just here for my amusement. 

  • Mango TangoMango Tango Posts: 2,018 Captain
    How does a homeowner plan a break in? Does he take reservations? Does he lay down c-notes from the sidewalk through an open front door?

    This guy must have had the most inept attorney on the planet.
  • SJCSJC Posts: 2,572 Captain
    http://news.msn.com/crime-justice/minnesota-man-convicted-of-premeditated-murder

    I guess you guys didn't read where he put a finishing shot on the last one while he/she was on the ground riddled with bullets

    A Minnesota homeowner who shot and killed two teenagers during a break-in was convicted Tuesday of premeditated murder.


    Byron 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
    The Beatings will continue until moral improves!
  • SJCSJC Posts: 2,572 Captain
    "Then waited a full day"
    The Beatings will continue until moral improves!
  • Mister-JrMister-Jr Posts: 29,954 AG
    Convicted by jury in fair trial. Why would anyone have an issue with that?
    Vote for the other candidate
  • Mango TangoMango Tango Posts: 2,018 Captain
    SJC wrote: »
    "Then waited a full day"

    He should run for governor after his appeal.

    It seems difficult for some to understand that when you shoot an intruder you are indeed trying to kill them, and there are no extra points for being polite or otherwise not using foul language in the process.
  • cadmancadman Posts: 43,623 AG
    He would have been found guilty in Florida with that evidence. Why did he record everything?

    Former Mini Mart Magnate

    I am just here for my amusement. 

  • Gary S. ColecchioGary S. Colecchio Posts: 24,905 AG
    cadman wrote: »
    Why did he record everything?

    He is crazy.
    Not everyone necessarily subscribes to your personal reality.
    "If I can't win, I won't play." - Doris Colecchio.

    "Well Gary, the easiest way to look tall is to stand in a room full of short people." - Curtis Bostick

    "All these forums, with barely any activity, are like a neglected old cemetery that no one visits anymore."- anonymouse
  • Mango TangoMango Tango Posts: 2,018 Captain
    cadman wrote: »
    He would have been found guilty in Florida with that evidence. Why did he record everything?

    I would assume he recorded it to document the break in. He was prepared for the home invasion by hiding in the interior of the home. At what point does he forfeit his rights under the Castle Doctrine? I guess the jury thought he should have politely asked the intruders to leave so they could live to forage another day.
  • GA FinGA Fin Posts: 8,945 Admiral
    I'm just glad the dead teens were white. We don't have to listen to Jesse and Al flap their man pleasers.
    Straight white male living a life of privilege and proud of it.


    "The greatest pleasure is to vanquish your enemies and chase them before you, to rob them of their wealth and see those dear to them bathed in tears, to ride their horses and clasp to your bosom their wives and daughters."
  • cadmancadman Posts: 43,623 AG
    I would assume he recorded it to document the break in. He was prepared for the home invasion by hiding in the interior of the home. At what point does he forfeit his rights under the Castle Doctrine? I guess the jury thought he should have politely asked the intruders to leave so they could live to forage another day.

    But he recorded himself shooting the first guy, moving the body and waiting on the other guy to show up. He recorded himself planning the shooting. He recorded himself shooting a guy already down and not a threat. He recorded his own conviction by his actions and words.

    He should have acted like a normal homeowner. If there had been no recording and he had not moved the body, he, most likely, would not have been convicted.

    Most homeowners don't document breakins while they are home with video and audio.

    Former Mini Mart Magnate

    I am just here for my amusement. 

  • cadmancadman Posts: 43,623 AG
    He is crazy.

    That is probably the correct assumption and the defense his attorney should have used.

    Former Mini Mart Magnate

    I am just here for my amusement. 

  • Mango TangoMango Tango Posts: 2,018 Captain
    cadman wrote: »
    But he recorded himself shooting the first guy, moving the body and waiting on the other guy to show up. He recorded himself planning the shooting. He recorded himself shooting a guy already down and not a threat. He recorded his own conviction by his actions and words.

    He should have acted like a normal homeowner. If there had been no recording and he had not moved the body, he, most likely, would not have been convicted.

    Most homeowners don't document breakins while they are home with video and audio.

    Most "normal people" I know, myself included have video surveillance. If I thwart a felony home invasion under the Castle Doctrine it will be recorded. Big deal. He moved the body so he could dispatch the second intruder......pretty smart. The guy had some serious credentials in this area if you read the article. He was definitely not your typical homeowner with respect to security. There is nothing illegal with respect to continuing to shoot a felon after they are hit.

    IMO he would not have been convicted in FL
  • MACDMACD Posts: 5,008 Admiral
    It's weird how Justice is served for all parties involved............Sometimes you just can't explain all Justice through a "Law Book".
  • cadmancadman Posts: 43,623 AG
    There is nothing illegal with respect to continuing to shoot a felon after they are hit.

    IMO he would not have been convicted in FL

    There is once the threat is removed. You can't shoot a man laying on the ground defenseless. Do it and you will go to jail in Florida.

    Former Mini Mart Magnate

    I am just here for my amusement. 

  • cadmancadman Posts: 43,623 AG
    He moved the body so he could dispatch the second intruder......pretty smart.

    No it was pretty dumb since it indicated he was planning the killing of the second guy. You can't plan to kill the second intruder. You record yourself doing that in Florida, you will go to jail.

    I honestly can't believe you typed that statement.

    Former Mini Mart Magnate

    I am just here for my amusement. 

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