Minnesota man says he fired more shots than needed

November 26, 2012, 3:26 pm

LITTLE FALLS, Minn. (AP) — Authorities say a Minnesota man admits firing more shots than necessary at two teenagers he said had broken into his home. He's charged with murder in the shooting deaths of the 18-year-old girl and 17-year-old boy, who was the girl's cousin.

They were shot on Thanksgiving Day, but their deaths weren't reported until the next day.

According to a criminal complaint, Byron Smith said he was in the basement of his home when he heard a window breaking, followed by footsteps. He said he fired when the boy came into view, and the wounded teen fell down the stairs. He said he then shot the 17-year-old in the face as he lay on the floor.

When the 18-year-old then began coming down the stairs, Smith said, he shot her and she also fell down the steps. He told police he tried to shoot her again, but that the gun jammed and that she laughed at him, so he shot her several more times with another gun.

The following day, according to the complaint, he asked a neighbor to recommend a good lawyer.

Minnesota law lets a homeowner use deadly force on an intruder if a reasonable person would fear they're in danger of harm. Smith told investigators he was afraid the intruder might have a weapon.

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APPHOTO NY115: This Nov. 23, 2012, photograph provided by the Morrison county sheriff's office shows Byron David Smith. The Morrison County man has been arrested after he told police he shot and killed two teenagers who he said were breaking into his home on Thanksgiving Day. (AP Photo/Morrison County Sheriff's Office) (24 Nov 2012)


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