LITTLE FALLS — Byron David Smith was charged Monday with two counts of second-degree murder in the Thanksgiving Day shooting deaths of teens Haile Kifer, 18, and Nicholas Brady Schaeffel, 17.
Morrison County Sheriff Michel Wetzel said at a news conference Monday that the Morrison County Sheriff’s Department received a call on Friday, from a neighbor that Smith had killed someone in his home.
Sheriff’s deputies were dispatched to the home, north of Little Falls, where Smith immediately told the deputies of the shootings and informed them that the victims’ bodies were in his basement.
Sheriff Wetzel discussed Minnesota state law which allows a homeowner to use deadly force against an intruder if there is reasonable fear of harm, however, Wetzel said defending one’s home does not allow them to go beyond the law.
According to criminal complaint. Smith told investigators that he “fired more shots than I needed to.”
Smith told investigators that he did not attempt to call law enforcement on Thanksgiving because he didn’t want to trouble the sheriff’s department on the holiday. Smith did however call a neighbor to ask if they knew any lawyers. When the neighbor was unable to assist him in obtaining a lawyer, Smith asked the neighbor to call law enforcement.
Smith is being held in the Morrison County Jail on $2 million bond or $200,000 cash bail without condition, or $1 million bond or $100,000 cash bail under the condition he surrender his passport, any firearms he may have, remain law abiding and remain in the state of Minnesota.
This story will be updated.