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Little Falls Man Found Guilty in Murder of Teens - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Little Falls Man Found Guilty in Murder of Teens

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Photo Courtesy: KARE 11 Photo Courtesy: KARE 11
Haile Kifer Haile Kifer
Nicholas Brady Nicholas Brady
Byron Smith has been found guilty on all four counts of murder of two teens who broke into his home two years ago. The jury took only three hours to come to a verdict on Wednesday afternoon.

Smith killed 18-year-old Haile Kifer and 17-year-old Nick Brady, shooting them multiple times after they broke into Smith's home on Thanksgiving 2012.

His defense had argued that the teens would be alive if they hadn't chosen to commit a burglary. Smith's attorney, Steve Meshbesher, argued the teens didn't deserve to die. But he said the 65-year-old was afraid for his own life.  Byron Smith waived his right to take the stand and the defense rested its case Monday. The final witnesses in the trial included Smith's family and the neighbors he has lived with for the past year and a half. They testified that Smith is an honest man.

Smith faced charges of both first and second-degree murder in the death of both teens.

The killings stirred debate about how far people can go to defend their homes. Under Minnesota law, a person may use deadly force to prevent a felony from taking place in one's home or dwelling. But the trial begged the question, "How far is too far?"
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