Break-ins are no longer an issue Mr. Smith.

I am sure many of the local folks have heard about the man from Little Falls, Minnesota( Byron David Smith) who shot two intruders who entered his house on Thanksgiving Day.  The two intruders have since been identified as two teenage cousins – 18-year-old Haile Kifer and 17-year-old Nicholas Brady. They were, according to inital reports, good kids. Well, good kids who were allegedly trespassing in a state where use of deadly force is defensible if a homeowner believes they are in harm’s way.

One always wonders what really happened when they hear about such events.  What are all the things we don’t know about that led up to this horrible result?  Why are two kids dead and a man with no past criminal record  so in fear for his life from intruders?

Alas, if you are like me and are wondering aloud about the details of this story – at least the details from Mr. Smith’s perspective – you need wonder no longer as they are all here in the criminal complaint. Be advised before going to the complaint though as it is quite disturbing and it will cause you to question whether Mr. Smith took leave of his humanity.  You’ll see in the complaint that he shot these teenagers multiple times after they were already stopped in their tracks and evidenced no real remorse. Smith’s matter-of-fact account is chilling.

The story we still need to learn more about is why the cousins were in Smith’s home.  Was he truly tormented by multiple break-ins and snapped or is there more to this story?  Why didn’t he call police himself after the deaths? Why didn’t he issue a warning to the intruders before shooting them?  Why didn’t he merely shoot them in the legs and impede their progress so police had time to respond? Why, why, why?  I am not sure that the answers make too big a difference at this point. There is clearly something not quite right about Mr. Smith and I am going to take the safe bet and wager that he won’t have to worry about any future break-ins.  The only thing that will likely occupy his mind for the next handful of decades is how he can possibly get out of the prison cell or mental health ward that will become his new home.

Day one thousand two hundred and thirty-eight of the new forty – obla di obla da

Ms. C

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About Ms. C

I teach at NDSU...but I remain a student of life with all the enthusiasm that entails. My favorite saying is, "Sometimes you have to take the leap and build your wings on the way down." In the new forty that is what I am doing...building my wings.
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10 Responses to Break-ins are no longer an issue Mr. Smith.

  1. My only question is what were those two kids doing entering someone’s home?
    Apparently a criminal trespass which is what the law would call it.

  2. Big game says:

    Good kids?? She was in rehab for adderall. Stole it from her cousin as well. These are facts, and she laughed at him after he shot her ? They were high as a kite seriously think about it …. Who breaks into a house in middle of day?? Sorry to ruin your sob story bleeding heart story. But these are facts

  3. Big game says:

    Moderation.,.? Read the criminal complaint and don’t ignore he facts. Be a honest journalist please

  4. G. Willikers says:

    wow kay, that is your ONLY question? the man is a deranged, savage killer. If there are any missing persons in the midwest, i’d start looking in his yard. Shooting the girl again because he claims she laughed? i wonder what sounds mr. smith would make if someone had shot him? unfortunately we may never know.

  5. Fennis says:

    Seems the potential jury pool has been/is being tainted. Why??

  6. Cho says:

    When you decide to burglarize someone’s home, multiple times it appears, you get what you get. I don’t approve of what Mr. Smith did with his “kill shots;” however, these young people are as responsible for their own deaths as he is. You can only push someone so far before they snap. It looks to me like this old guy snapped.

    I am reminded of an incident that took place back in the 1970s when MY cousin and his friends repeatedly harrassed an older gentleman because he reacted so strongly and they thought it was funny to see him charge out of his house and order them of his property. They’d sit in their cars next to his yard, smoking cigarettes and drinking beer and tossing the butts and bottles onto his lawn. They yelled and hooted and honked their horns in the wee hours to interrupt his sleep. When he came out in a rage, yelling at them to get the hell off his lawn and leave him alone, they laughed, drove their cars through his lawn, and said rude things to him.

    One night he came out with his shot gun and started shooting. My cousin’s car got a few holes in it that night.

    Who was the bad guy? Well, according to my aunt and uncle it was the old guy. But I thought even then that my cousin and his friends got what they asked for–an even bigger freak out from the old man than the last one. Luckily, no one was hurt or killed in that incident. The old man did get in legal trouble for shooting at them but I don’t remember exactly what punishment he got.

    In my opinion, my cousin and his friends should have been punished too–but they were not ever charged with anything.

    While it is sad that these young people are dead, they went looking for trouble and trouble found them. I hope other young people learn from this. And I hope that people will put themselves in the place of Mr. Smith before they judge him a monster. How would you feel if you’d been robbed several times and had your home invaded several times? I doubt you’d offer these kids cookies and soda.

    I myself would have called the cops after taking pictures, if I could get them, as evidence. I don’t own guns, but I would have tried to put the little criminals behind bars.

    I love my cousin and I’m glad he isn’t dead. But if he DID get shot and killed in that episode, it would have been his own damned fault. You can’t push people and push people and push people and not expect them to eventually go over the edge.

  7. Barbara says:

    @Cho–Thank you for sharing this story (and so eloquently too)! There has gotten to be way too much harassment-for-entertainment from teens and young 20′s. They have to realize that there is the possibility of more entertainment and attention than they bargained for.

  8. Kari says:

    What about Joel LaFromboise, a 19 yr old boy, who was confused and went into the wrong apartment in Moorhead about 3 years ago. He was blown away from a sawed off shotgun and the owner of the house did not get charged. It was a similar story to this, it should not have gone this far, for a young person to die, so tragically, and the homeowner had no charges at all. So sad. I feel so bad for these parents.

  9. David Stout says:

    I worked for Byron on a daily bases for about 2 years before he retired. Byron was a Department of State employee with a high security clearance and I was an engineer manager designing security systems for the U.S. Embassies and Consulates around the world. Byron is very smart, Einstein level smart but doesn’t have very good people skills or commonsense (Street smarts), sorry Byron but it is true. Einstein has been known to leave his home without pants on because he was deep in thought, I could easily see Byron doing this as well.
    Believe it or not, Byron is a nice guy who wasn’t out looking for trouble, trouble found him. I think in Byron’s mind he was doing the right thing and now it is up to the jury to decide.
    Keep in mind and put yourself in Byron’s shoes. If your home was broken into eight times (probably because he was overseas most of the time during the break-ins) and artifacts from around the world were stolen, you would be on edge and concerned about your safety, so would you act rational during a home invasion by multiple intruders? How did Byron know how many more intruders were in his house coming down the steps after the first two (he probably didn’t, so he was on edge)?
    Byron is not a crazy killer, he is an intellectual put into a bad situation requiring commonsense and not mathematical problem solving skills. I think Byron thought he was doing right by protecting his home, property and self.
    Either way, unfortunately there is no going back. Everyone involved has to live with this horrific situation.

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