BYRON SMITH TRIAL: Chilling audio of Little Falls shootings - FOX 29 News Philadelphia | WTXF-TV

BYRON SMITH TRIAL: Chilling audio of Little Falls shootings

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The audio recording made inside the Little Falls, Minn., home of Byron Smith on the night he shot and killed two teenaged cousins is chilling, but jurors listened to it play during the second day of testimony in the ongoing murder trial.


The recordings pick up as 17-year-old Nick Brady breaks in. A a window shatters, then a couple of extra pieces of glass are broken out. Footsteps can be heard in the house, and he heads for the stairs.


Brady is hit. He lets out a groan as he tumbles down the stairs.

Two more booms sound -- quick, fast and lethal.

VIDEO: “You’re dead,” Smith says.

Next, Smith can be heard working with his tarp, then reloading.

For some 11 minutes, Smith says nothing else. There’s some heavy breathing and some movement in the house, maybe coming and going from the basement. But then, there are more footsteps inside the house – this time from 18-year-old Haile Kifer.

Her footsteps travel to the same basement stairs where Smith was waiting, and another piercing boom sounds from the rifle. Haile lets out an “Oh God” as she tumbles.

Smith’s rifle then jams. He says, “sorry about that” as Haile emits what sounds like a faint sigh. Smith then unloads the .22 revolver, muttering “bitch” while shooting several more times.

Before the recording stops, moments later, there’s one last gunshot. This is what Smith termed a “good, clean finishing shot” as Kifer appears to still be barely alive.

Follow Fox 9 reporter Paul Blume on Twitter @PaulBlume_FOX9 for updates from Little Falls

Family members who were in court on Tuesday could be heard crying as the CD played, but jurors faces appeared to remain stoic. Smith also showed emotion for the second time in two days as he listened to his own recordings.


"We're not really, as a family, we're not really going to comment on anything that happens during the trial," Steve Schaeffel, Brady's grandfather, told Fox 9 News. "We don't want to jeopardize what's going on in there. Basically, we are just going to wait until the end, and then, if people want to know, we'll answer any question."

Schaeffel said sitting through the trial is extraordinarily difficult, telling Fox 9, "No question about it, it's very painful."


As well as hearing the weapons that were used on Thanksgiving Day 2012, jurors got to see the guns in court as a firearms specialist with the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension took the stand.

Jurors were also shown an intimate look inside the basement where the shootings occurred. Photographs depict a cluttered space, including the chair he was sitting in when he fired from between two bookcases.

Pictures of the bodies in Smith's workshop were also shown before the jury was dismissed early for the day following a feisty exchange between the BCA special agent and Smith's attorney, Steve Meshbesher.


On Monday, jurors also got the chance to listen to Smith explain, in his own words, how he killed the two teenage intruders.

Although his attorney has not decided whether Smith will take the stand, audio recordings of his police interrogation were played in court on Monday. Smith could be heard speaking in a very matter-of-fact tone with officers as he told them he was terrified inside his Little Falls home after a rash of burglaries and thefts.

"These are people who have stolen my guns," he said. "I have a choice of being the shooter or getting shot."

When asked why he kept firing after Brady and Kifer were disabled, Smith said, "Even if I kill someone, I don't want them to suffer." He further compared the killings to hunting deer.

As the recording played, Smith made his first visible display of emotion, dabbing at tears in his eyes.

BYRON SMITH TRIAL: Recap of opening statements

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