Little Falls Man Found Guilty of 1st Degree Murder

Just because an intruder enters your house doesn’t mean you have carte’ blanch to kill him or her. Byron Smith of Little Falls, Minnesota found this out the hard way. After two teens broke into his home, he shot them a total of 18 times, kept the dead bodies in his house for a day before calling police and recorded the entire episode for posterity. He violated the law in several ways.

First, he continued to shoot after the threat was removed. Specifically, he talked about giving the female a good, clean “finishing shot” and compared her killing to that of putting down a deer who is suffering. This was probably the largest indication of murder, not self-defense.

Secondly, he called her a “bitch” before he finally killed her. She was suffering from previous gunshot wounds and had no way to defend herself. His killer of her could not be interpreted in any other way than intentional murder.

Finally, as part of his surveillance system, he had audio recordings of everything that happened. I suspect that without the audio, he would not have been found guilty because there would have been little evidence to refute his testimony. But with the audio, I don’t think he stood a chance of being found not guilty.

When we teach the Minnesota Permit to Carry course, we constantly remind people of two things: A) the only fight you’ll never lose is one that you don’t get involved with in the first place and B) you stop shooting as soon as the threat is neutralized.

Byron violated both of these principles. And now he’ll spend the rest of his natural life in prison as a result.

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