One man did something you may not believe—he recorded himself as he fatally shot two teens in the basement of his home.
It happened at a house in Little Falls, Minnesota, where Byron Smith had been repeatedly burglarized. He was so fed up that he set a trap by making it appear as if his house were empty. All the while, he was waiting in the basement with a gun in hand.
That's when 17-year-old Nicholas Brady broke in through a window and headed for the basement. After fatally shooting Brady, Smith could be heard in the recording saying, "You're dead."
Ten minutes later, Nick Brady’s cousin, 18-year-old Haile Kifer broke in, went down the stairs into the basement, and was shot repeatedly.
Moments after the murders, Smith reflected on what he'd done. He was without remorse, saying, "I'm safe now. I refuse to live in fear. They weren't human. I didn't se them as human. I see them as vermin."
Smith waited a full day before asking a neighbor to call police. All that time, the bodies laid in the basement. He was arrested, and then the issue before the jury was clear—was he a man protecting himself and his property or a cold-blooded executioner?
In a chilling audio statement to police, Smith matter-of-factly explains why he fired that final shot at Haile Kifer, "I thought she was dead and it turned out she wasn't. So, ah, I did a good clean finishing shot. And, ah, she gave out the death twitch. First time I’d ever seen it in a human. But it works the same in beaver, deer, whatever."
Nick Brady's mom could barely believe what she was hearing when the tape was played in court.
She said, "I have to get up every day and look at the man who shot my son and my niece. I don't believe he felt remorse."
Smith's own recording of the crime proved to be the strongest evidence against him. On Tuesday, he was convicted for the double-murder, and will spend the rest of his life behind bars. Small consolation to the families of two teens who never dreamed what was waiting for them in the basement.
Under Minnesota law, a homeowner 'may' use deadly force to stop a felony in one's home, but the actions must be considered reasonable under the circumstances. Smith was immediately sentenced to life in prison without parole.