Byron Smith, Minnesota burglar-killer shot and killed two teens sentenced to life in prison

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Byron Smith, a Minnesota homeowner who killed two teens during a 2012 break-in at his Little Falls home was convicted of premeditated murder and sentenced to life in prison without parole after a high-profile, but quick trial on Tuesday.

Smith, 65, whose rifles had been stolen from his home shortly before the incident, claimed that he had shot the teens out of self-defense, but key evidence and voice recordings from that day suggest that he had intended to kill the teen cousins, Nicky Brady, 17, and Haile Kifer, 18 all along.

Smith was reportedly all set up in his basement with loaded guns, a lengthy book, a bottle of water, and some snacks, according Morrison County prosecutors, seemingly biding his time and waiting for something to happen.

The retiree had reportedly also prepared a tape recorder on a bookshelf, which captured audio while the shootings took place.

When Brady entered the basement, Smith was allegedly lying in wait for him with a Ruger Mini-12 rifle. He shot him twice before firing a final shot that went through Brady's hand and into his head.

About 10 minutes later, Kifer followed her cousin into the basement, where Smith managed to fire a round at her before his rifle jammed. As Kifer is heard screaming in the audio footage obtained by police, Smith can be heard saying 'You're dead.'

He next allegedly dragged her towards her cousin's dead body and finished her off with two revolver shots to the head.

Even more disturbing still was the audio recorded shortly after the teens were killed, in which Smith called the dead teens "vermin".

The jury returned with a verdict shortly after closing on Tuesday. Smith, found guilty on two counts of first-degree and second-degree murder, was sentenced to life without parole.
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