The Free Press, Mankato, MN

State, national news

November 26, 2012

Homeowner: "I fired more shots than I needed" at teens

(Continued)

LITTLE FALLS —

Wetzel said that while the shootings happened on Thursday, Smith waited until Friday to report the deaths, explaining that "he didn't want to trouble us on a holiday."

In the complaint, Smith said he was in his basement when he heard a window breaking upstairs, followed by footsteps that eventually approached the basement stairwell. Smith said he fired when Brady came into view from the waist down.

After the teen fell down the stairs, Smith said he shot him in the face as he lay on the floor.

"I want him dead," the complaint quoted Smith telling an investigator.

Smith said he dragged Brady's body into his basement workshop, then sat down on his chair. After a few minutes, Kifer began coming down the stairs and he shot her as soon as her hips appeared, he said.

After shooting her with both the Mini 14 and the .22-caliber revolver, he dragged her next to Brady. With her still gasping for air, he fired a shot under her chin "up into the cranium," the complaint says.

"Smith described it as 'a good clean finishing shot,'" according to the complaint.

The next day he asked a neighbor to recommend a good lawyer, according to the complaint. He later asked his neighbor to call the police.

A prosecutor called Smith's reaction "appalling."

"Mr. Smith intentionally killed two teenagers in his home in a manner that goes well beyond self-defense," Morrison County Attorney Brian Middendorf said after Smith appeared in court Monday morning. Bail was set at $2 million.

Defense attorney Gregory Larson declined comment.

John Lang, who described himself as Smith's best friend, said Smith shouldn't be in jail.

"You have a right to defend your home," Lang said. "He's been through hell."

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