Byron Smith convicted of four counts of murder

Byron Smith was convicted of two counts of first degree murder and two counts of second degree murder in the shooting deaths of cousins Haile Kifer and Nicholas Brady, Thanksgiving Day 2012 in Little Falls.

The judge sentenced Smith to two concurrent life sentences without possibility of parole.

 

 

  • thumper763

    Well guess its time to switch professions and be a criminal, only people that complete protection from our laws.

    • Rick Witte

      Not true at all. Had Smith shot the first one to disable the threat, then dialed 911, the buglers and not him would be facing the consequences. Without question he had every right to protect himself and his home from the threat. It appears he went well beyond what was necessary to eliminate the threat. Once he had the first one down he had ample time to call authorities and to ward the second intruder off.

      Certainly, in the heat of the moment, he may well not have been thinking clearly, but does that then excuse execution?

      • Rina VanKleef

        The pre-planning involved was enough to convict him. It was pure pre-meditated murder and he got what he deserved. Actually, I think he deserves the death penalty – by firing squad.

    • Larry

      I wonder if it would have made a difference in the trial if local newspapers had shown the mug shots of those teens instead of those cherub like pics they plastered online in the papers every day.

      • Rick Witte

        That works both ways Larry. The initial photo of Smith which appeared in the papers looked nothing like what you see today. Usually mug shots are obtained from the time of arrest. If the kids had been arrested that what would have appeared. Its not like the Record, or any other paper, keeps file photos of every City resident; just in case.

        While I have no way of knowing I would imagine the picture of Smith appearing in the papers was changed because of a complaint from his lawyers. Complaining that the mug shot could prejudice any jury pool. Would that have been done in the case of the kids?

    • Rina VanKleef

      Nope, you’re not allowed to plan a murder and gun down two unarmed kids. And when you don’t call the police right away, guess what? They don’t tend to believe you. He should have gotten the death penalty.

      • opinionsjla

        it wasn’t planned, the only thing that was planned was he was going to protect himself if anyone came to rob him and that is what he did, yes he should have called the cops, yes he went too far, but you nor anyone but bryon knows what was going through his mind, I think he should be locked up in a mental institution for the rest of his life, and not prison, he is mentally disabled, and should have not been able to stand this trial, incompetent

        • Rina VanKleef

          Why did he put a silencer on the guns? Why did he buy tarps? Why didn’t he call police? He may have been mentally ill but he clearly knew the difference between right or wrong. He belongs locked up. I don’t care where – as long as he is not let out to “protect” himself again.

  • Jan

    I agree, thumper763. The result of this case is stunning. Who the heck was on that jury, the “kids'” parents?? Disgusting. When one of their family members are robbed at gunpoint, and they will be after seeing how this was tolerated, I hope they remember this day.

    • tmac

      Who was robbed at gunpoint?

    • Rina VanKleef

      That’s the point genius. He wasn’t robbed at gunpoint. He shot two UNARMED kids. He will think about that while he is sitting in his box in prison.

    • Rina VanKleef

      You’re a blathering idiot. Burglary doesn’t equal the death penalty. It makes me sick to have to share my oxygen with you.

  • Jeff

    Shouldn’t break into peoples homes. I would do the same thing but call the police right after.

  • Julie Pearson

    Cops shoot people more then one time why are they not prosecuted? This case should have been taken out of that county. I feel Byron Smith had every right to do what he did and my heart go’s out to him and his family. The first shoot or the second could have killed them just as well. Maybe parent’s will learn something from this case. If you have kids on drugs and you care about them. Then get them help. Don’t tell everyone how much you loved your kid after there dead and gone.

    • Rina VanKleef

      Must be nice living in a perfect world. In a perfect world, a grown man doesn’t move his truck to a neighbors house, take the bulbs out of the light fixtures and wait in the basement like a stalker. When they came in, they committed burglary – which doesn’t exactly deserve a LIFE sentence. Both KIDS were UNARMED. He also kept the bodies until the next day. Only a sicko would defend another sicko.

      • David Pooley

        You’re aware that they’d previously stolen guns, right? Was he supposed to ask them if they were armed first? You and I didn’t have to deal with this terror of being broken into. Don’t pretend you know how you’d have reacted to repeated breakins, not knowing who it was or whether they were armed. You make it sound like he should have offered them warm cookies and milk, but the reality is that if they’d been preying on you, you’d think a lot differently.

        • Rina VanKleef

          First of all, it wasn’t proven that they have EVER broken into his house before. What this guy did was out and out premeditated murder. If he was a state dept. security guy keeping our diplomats safe, I think it would be safe to say, he was probably trained to use a gun. He incapacitated them with the FIRST shot. But no, he had to shoot them multiple times while calling them names. He had the wherewithal to set up audio/video in his house, move his truck, sit in the basement for hours waiting to murder them. Are you telling me that you don’t think he could have done something when he was robbed BEFORE? We were robbed once. We immediately installed a security system and cameras. You’re telling me this guy couldn’t have done the same? BS. What part of he planned a MURDER do you not get?

          • David Pooley

            There were other prescription drugs that they’d stolen in their car. They were suspected in other robberies. The inept cops, however, didn’t have the brains to try to set a trap for them. That’s something that cops regularly do to catch criminals. Did he go too far? Yes. Was he pushed into it by being terrorized because he was repeatedly broken into and they’d stolen guns? I can believe it. Sleeping with one eye open is no way to live. He said he refused to live in fear. That gives a sense of his state of mind.

            Now, I’ve given my opinion. You, however, do nothing but name call. Those kids made a TRAGIC mistake by messing with the wrong guy, but they were drug addicts. If they had been home enjoying Thanksgiving with their “loving” families, none of this would’ve happened.

      • David Pooley

        BTW, you have it backwards – they stalked him.

        • Rina VanKleef

          He murdered them. He planned it beforehand. He incapacitated each of them with the first shot. Why did he have to kill? I’ll tell you why. He wasn’t protecting his castle. He was planning a murder. That’s why he had the setup he had. I mean, really, he planned it down to having the tarps ready so he didn’t get blood on his carpet! If you listen to the tape and you still defend him, you’re as whacko as he is and you belong in an institution as well.

          • Julie Pearson

            If they didn’t go into his home in the first place this would have never happened Rina. They had no business in his house or on his property. He wasn’t a drug addict or a thief. He did not have a criminal record. We can not say the same for those kid’s.Don’t be so stupid with your remarks. They got what they deserved.

  • runner123

    1. Lets face it those cherub faced kids were bad kids. They made bad decisions and paid the ultimate price. Smith made a bad decision by chosing to shoot them to the excess he did. It all about choices. Had everyone just gone to Thanksgiving dinner like they were supposed to none of this would have happened.

    2. The jury is an embarassment.

    3. Law enforcement there dismal and needs an overhaul.

    4. Anyone who grew up there and got out thank god every day for making the good choice of leaving.

    • opinionsjla

      AMEN

  • David Pooley

    I can’t get past the fact that none of this
    would’ve happened if those teens hadn’t robbed him repeatedly, terrorizing him
    and making him feel like a prisoner in his own home. With the verdict, I
    suspect the families may move on a civil case and perhaps sue for his estate.
    That would only complete the burglary of his possessions, started by their
    kids. They will have finally taken everything and he’ll have moved from one
    prison to another.

    • Rina VanKleef

      When you commit MURDER, you SHOULD have to give all your possessions to the victims’ families. Look what he took from them. He was nothing but a gun-toting whackjob waiting to take someone – anyone – out. Well, he got his wish by executing two kids. I hope he enjoys every single day of his prison sentence.

      • David Pooley

        The only people he was looking to “take out” were the one’s who were repeatedly breaking into his home and stealing prescription drugs, guns, etc. I suspect you’d think differently if they’d been terrorizing you and the local Barney Fife wasn’t catching them. When you heard the glass break in your home, you’d have (A) wet yourself and (B) been so gawd awful afraid that the adreneline would’ve put you over the top. This guy, who you call a “whack job,” was a retired State Department security professional who helped keep our diplomats safe in very dangerous places around the world. It’s sad that when he retired and should’ve been able to enjoy the last years of his life, two cute, cuddly-looking, prescription drug abusers decided to terrorize him. No, like another person posted, they weren’t home sharing Thanksgiving with their “loving” families. They were out making this guys life a living hell.

        • Rina VanKleef

          Sorry, but he was a whack job. Did you listen to the audio tape? If you did and it doesn’t change your opinion, you’re nothing but a soulless gun loving jackleg. I don’t give a rat’s a())s what he did for a job. When you shoot UNARMED CHILDREN and MURDER them, when he obviously incapacitated them with the first shot, you are a MURDERER – not protecting your home. He planned this for retaliation. Why didn’t he just set up audio and video cameras and give them to the police? After he shot them the first time, why didn’t he call the cops instead of murdering them as he called them names as they lay dying. EVERYTHING about this man and anyone who would defend his actions is SICK. People in his neighborhood reported he was strange years ago. He should have been locked up in a mental health facility – like most of the gun-totin’ dingleberries I know. I can’t wait until the old bitter phuckers like him die off. This country will be a much better place.

  • Isog Sargent

    Yes he went too far. No he didn’t ambush them. Yes they should not have broken in. No they didn’t deserve to die. Yes any reasonable person would assume they were there to do harm including bodily harm. No there was no way for Smith to know that they weren’t there to do harm and there’s no way for us to know that either.

    Facts are facts. This was not first degree murder any more than anyone having a gun in their house for self-protection is proof of premeditation. I don’t know if any appellate court will want to touch this. This is a hard case and it’s said that hard cases make bad law.

    But I have to ask; when Smith came to the police and said that kids had been breaking into his house and had stolen drugs and guns did the police take it seriously? I mean they stole drugs and guns. Wasn’t that worrisome to the police? That’s a big deal anywhere else, but not in Little Falls?

    And when I saw the parents on TV talking about how justice was served because their babies had been murdered, all I could think about was, if they cared so much about their kids why were their kids breaking into people’s houses for drugs and guns on Thanksgiving weekend instead of spending time with their families? They raised these kids. The choices teenagers make aren’t made in isolation. They are the result of our work as parents. How can they look at themselves in the mirror. I guess it helps them to blame someone else. But the rest of us can see who is really at fault here.

  • Jan

    Seriously, Rina, talk with your dr about medication. You’re going to blow.

  • Lauren Foster-Catan

    Wow! DISGUSTING VERDICT!
    These thieves broke into the home of a senior citizen who lived alone! Of course he was all psyched
    out to kill them! He felt it was him or them! He was ready to protect his house! OF COURSE HE HATED THEM! He had every reason to. How terrifying this ordeal must have been for HIM! It’s sad that these kids made such a stupid choice over and over again Because that’s what got them killed,
    Not premeditated murder!! What is REALLY SAD is that this man is expected to act politically correct when he is the victim of a break in in his own home!! I AM APPALLED!

up arrow