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Top 10 Stories – #3 Little Falls Murders [AUDIO]

Morrison County Sheriff
Photo by WJON.com’s Jim Maurice

LITTLE FALLS — In today’s installment of our Top 10 stories of 2012, we take a look at number three…the shooting and killing of two Little Falls teenagers after breaking into and entering a man’s home. 

A Little Falls man has been charged with two counts of second-degree murder in the shooting deaths of two teenagers who broke into his home Thanksgiving Day. Sixty-four year old Byron Smith has admitted to shooting and killing 17-year-old Nicholas Brady and 18-year-old Haile Kifer in his basement, as they were coming down the stairs.

According to the criminal complaint, Smith says the break-in happened at about noon on Thanksgiving Day. When he heard someone coming into his house, Smith went down to the basement and armed himself with a pistol and a rifle. He told police he fired the rifle when he saw Brady coming down the stairs. Brady’s body fell to the bottom of the stairs, and Smith said he fired several more times. Smith then moved the body to another room.

Byron Smith
Morrison County Jail photo

A few minutes later, Kifer came down the stairs and Smith shot her. When her body fell to the bottom of the stairs, he admitted to shooting her several times as well.

Smith says he was defending himself, and his home. But, Morrison County Sheriff Michel Wetzel says Smith went beyond the law…

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Morrison County Attorney Brian Middendorf told reporters and the community at the news conference that it’s a complicated case…

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Smith’s best friend, John Lang, doesn’t believe Smith should have been charged with a crime…

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Wetzel says Smith told them he didn’t call authorities right away because “it was Thanksgiving and he didn’t want to bother police on a holiday”.

Haile Kifer and Nick Brady
Haile Kifer and Nick Brady

Sheriff Wetzel says he does believe the two teens were in the home with the intent to commit burglary. Smith’s home was also broken into on October 27th.

Smith is out on $50,000 bail awaiting his next court appearance.

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