Man kills teens that broke into his Minnesota home
Legal panel weighs in on the case
- Duration 7:04
- Date Nov 27, 2012
Legal panel weighs in on the case
Also in this playlist...
This transcript is automatically generated
It's shocking story out of Minnesota were a homeowner is now charged with two counts of second degree murder.
After shooting two teenagers.
He says were breaking into his house on Thanksgiving Day.
This after the man admitted to firing more shots than necessary.
After one of the alleged burglars laughed at him Trace Gallagher live -- -- with more.
The police are part of this -- -- very hard to read 64 real Byron Smith telling police that his house had been -- eight times before so on Thanksgiving Day he was down his basement.
He heard a window break and footsteps come down.
As soon as seventeen year old -- -- felt came -- view he opened fire the teen tumbled down the steps he then shot him again in the face telling police quote.
I want him dead.
When he's eighteen year old cousin -- -- for came down the stairs minutes later.
He shot her and when she fell down the stairs he walked up shooter again but the gun Jan.
He says that she laughed and then told police and I'm quoting here if you're trying to shoot somebody and they -- that you you go again.
He then grabbed a different guy listen out of the share.
Smith -- -- -- and please just 22 caliber pistol under the victims chin and and -- Final shot a law doesn't permit you.
To execute somebody once the threat is gone.
And there is no possible way to crime can continue.
But Minnesota does have the castle doctrine which allows homeowners to use deadly force to protect their homes -- say he was doing just that.
-- The American is somebody's all -- -- -- good way to do it.
-- there -- a lot of how to kill somebody.
-- walk over a pop another round in that kid that in my mind exceeds.
His views are justifiable force even in the home.
Byron Smith never notified the authorities until the next day because he says he panicked he finally called the neighbor asking for a lawyer telling him what happened.
The neighbor called police he is now being charged with second degree murder two counts being held on two million dollars bond.
-- -- thank you.
So second degree murder is at the -- call turning out Joey Jackson former prosecutor and defense attorney and frankly -- who was a defense attorney.
You tell me I mean he.
They were down he shot them as they're coming on the stairs one after the they were down and then -- finished them off how is that self defense at that point Brian.
-- and here's here's here's the problem for prosecuting Byron Smith in Minnesota.
The law as it states right now says that if you're a homeowner Minnesota and somebody breaks -- your property without consent and they are gonna commit a felony.
You can kill that person.
This law does not distinguish between.
Whether there was a reasonable immediate threat to the person who owns the property there's no language in the statute that says that so I would argue.
For Byron Smith obviously is a tragedy but how are you for him now that the way this -- stated.
He has an absolute immunity to be prosecuted for second -- And I would request an immunity hearing before this judge to have all the charges dropped so it.
That's true -- than someone can break in your house as soon as they stepped foot in -- in the house they're dead you can you can.
They they can step foot in the house and no matter what happens you just shoot to kill continue shooting shoot shoot shoot until you're sure they're dead that's it.
Absolutely not -- -- one thing is clear and that is that any statute whether it's written or not have to be interpreted with what common sense the fact is this.
Self defense is about one thing self preservation once you have -- your life and others around you that's it.
Self defense is not about making public pronouncements of vengeance or just days.
Or it certainly is not about execution itself the -- is defending against the threat and even though the Minnesota statute allows you to defend your home.
It does not allow you want the threat is otherwise resolved to shoot someone in the face because you feel like it.
And then once someone else is there to shoot them they represent know what the danger but they -- -- you shoot them multiple times in the chest and guess what according to -- you get a clean shot to the Cranium.
Through -- back OK so that you make sure what their dad this is without question second degree murder it'll be prosecuted as such.
And I do believe that the prosecution will secure a conviction up -- And is it easy to -- today that the threat was over.
You know sitting here in the studios alike and if you're in it and people are for he says he says it was eight times -- house -- -- broken into that you've lost thousands of dollars.
One after the other coming down the stairs he's by himself.
You know it is it possible that even though -- shot and they were down he did not believe.
The threat was over.
-- and I don't think that's possible but I disagree Majoli.
He's gonna have to amp up his charm factor with the judge injury on this one his job as part of you have got out that up -- yeah yeah.
He is Jolie's got these -- charmer Danielle and I don't really I was out.
Where except out the family -- not big -- not backlash slammed when you if you wanna I wanna let it got to say is a lot.
-- Joey the legislators got to change the walk here sometimes tragedies happen and our country to -- changed the way that statute reads.
It does not speak to.
Immediate threat of death to the person who owns -- property it simply says.
You can kill somebody if they're entering your property with the intent to commit a crime or not that's the case it doesn't say you can -- once twice three times report -- that guy is right into the.
Yeah yeah -- this -- that this is the charm factor that is the charm factor he he -- he said about the girl the seventeen year old girl.
She left but it wasn't a very long laugh because she was -- hurting.
And that's when he shot her in the chest several times dragged her next Brady and while she was still gasping for air.
Buyout fired a shot under her chin up into the Cranium and described as a good clean finishing shot well he's a charmer all right -- -- Well listen here's the point the point as you -- -- talk about statutes let's talk about the constitution do we change the constitution because something's not said that this that you really need to say that you can't shoot somebody 8910 times.
And it will not be -- self the it's -- -- if you're allowed to use deadly force.
Yeah he would -- and that's that's true I will concede that but once that -- -- has all has otherwise been terminated and they represent no other threaten a tumbling down the stairs looking at you and utter.
I mean I can't defend himself do you shoot them in the face is that appropriate.
And when someone else comes down the stairs and you shoot them in their otherwise again the threats terminated -- you shoot them again.
That is not what you call lawful or unlawful of course subject to prosecution the Pentagon -- -- of this case guys good debate thank you so much -- -- thinking about it.