Little Falls Man Faces Charges for Fatally Shooting Teens

Updated: 11/26/2012 1:32 PM By: Tim Sherno

Morrison County Sheriff's deputies arrested 64-year-old Byron Smith for his part in the shooting deaths of two Little Falls teenagers. The Sheriff's office says Smith shot and killed 17-year-old Nicholas Brady and 18-year-old Haile Kifer after Smith says the two broke into his home.

Defense Attorney Bruce Rivers says Minnesota law gives anyone the right to defend their home, "You can use deadly force when you're in your home and you do not have to retreat."

Smith says the teens were shot last Thursday. Deputies were called to Smith's Little Falls home on Friday and say when Smith answered the door he told deputies he had shot the teens. Defense Attorney Smith says that delay raises questions about Smith's actions, "If the bodies were moved, and they can show some manipulation of the evidence I think he loses some credibility in terms of what he perceived to be the threat."

Morrison County Sheriff Michel Wetzel said while everyone has the right to defend their home; deputies believe Smith went "beyond that point."

Attorney Rivers says unless there is compelling physical evidence, defining reasonable force is difficult, "it's reasonable under his circumstances... if you have a 60 something man, living by himself, and he's been broken into time after time after time... and he's home on this occasion, one could reasonably believe that he was in grave danger."

Right now Minnesota law allows the use of deadly force from inside your home. Lawmakers tried expanding the 'Castle Doctrine' last session.
They wanted to include places like your car boat or even a tent. Local law enforcement were strongly against the change.
And Governor Dayton vetoed the bill that passed the state House and Senate.

A 1 PM press conference is scheduled in Little Falls on Monday.