Trial Begins For Man Accused Of Murdering 2 Teens

Apr 21, 2014 Full story: CBS Local 53

Opening statements are expected to get under way in the case of a central Minnesota man who shot and killed two teens who entered his home.

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Yuletide

Seattle, WA

#43 Apr 24, 2014
Latter Day Faints wrote:
<quoted text>
You have already posted that you don't think he should be convicted of anything.
Your statement that the charges are correct here therefore makes no sense, because you don't charge people if you don't think they should or will be convicted.
I'm not sure you have a grasp of the basics of the legal system.
I agree there are a lot of mitigating factors here...beyond the guy summarily executing two people and then openly telling the police that's what he intended to do and did....
He mentions in the recording providing police with a death threat he received before this happens. I'd like to know more about that.

Two kids in a small town shot and killed. They had to charge him and let a jury of his peers decide his fate.(imo) Don't concern yourself with my grasp of the legal system. This is an opinion board.
Sally

Arlington, TX

#44 Apr 24, 2014
The only reason to try to stick this defendant with a "lying in wait" charge while in his own LOCKED home, is to attempt to stick him with a murder one conviction of premeditated murder. If he had shot them each one time (been a better shot) and called 911 right away, would they still try to say he was "lying in wait?" My house was broken into 71/2 half years ago, and an outdoor shed had the locked doors ripped off on another occasion, after an older wood fence was kicked in by punks. I guess if I ever have to shoot an intruder, I have been laying in wait with my gun next to me for over 7 years now. Simply because you don't agree with it "Latter" does not make my argument an over dramatization. Whether he killed them with one shot or many, even shots he shouldn't have fired in the heat of the moment, he was either laying in wait PRIOR to that or he wasn't. Are you familiar with "over charging?" Lying in wait is normally applied to perhaps someone sneaking into someone elses home and waiting to rape/kill/assault them. Regardless of the final outcome, no person, guarding their own home from intruders should be charged with lying in wait for those who never had any business being there in the first place.

I believe it was excessive to shoot anyone while they are down and possibly dying. But, I would not risk approaching someone like that and search their pockets to see if they had a gun. I WOULD have brought down a cell phone beforehand and called 911 while I had a gun aimed at them for any indication of another false move.

Convicting people of "lying in wait" in their own locked homes will be a dangerous precedent to set for victims of crime to worry about.

I am not btw defending the overkill.
Latter Day Faints

Philadelphia, PA

#45 Apr 24, 2014
Yuletide wrote:
<quoted text>
He mentions in the recording providing police with a death threat he received before this happens. I'd like to know more about that.
Two kids in a small town shot and killed. They had to charge him and let a jury of his peers decide his fate.(imo) Don't concern yourself with my grasp of the legal system. This is an opinion board.
My opinion is that saying, "I agree he should be charged but he should not be convicted," reveals a person who doesn't understand the most basic things.

Particularly after you objected to my properly lumping you in with the other posters who think the guy should not be convicted...that he was, therefore, entitled to do whatever he wanted. Something you also think - that he should not be convicted, therefore, that he was entitled to do whatever he wanted.

This is an opinion board.

Except when facts are involved....
Latter Day Faints

Philadelphia, PA

#46 Apr 24, 2014
Sally wrote:
The only reason to try to stick this defendant with a "lying in wait" charge while in his own LOCKED home, is to attempt to stick him with a murder one conviction of premeditated murder. If he had shot them each one time (been a better shot) and called 911 right away
You're unmoored from facts. He did not shoot them once and call 911.

He shot them, had them down, walked up to each and executed them. He (if the coverage is correct) announced his explicit intentions to both the dead robbers and to the police.

He then waited a day or so to tell a neighbor to call 911.

See? That's different from the (imaginary) scenario you posited.
Yuletide

Seattle, WA

#47 Apr 24, 2014
Sally,
I couldn't agree more. His doors and windows were locked. How did he know they were coming?
Yuletide

Seattle, WA

#48 Apr 24, 2014
Latter Day Faints wrote:
<quoted text>
My opinion is that saying, "I agree he should be charged but he should not be convicted," reveals a person who doesn't understand the most basic things.
Particularly after you objected to my properly lumping you in with the other posters who think the guy should not be convicted...that he was, therefore, entitled to do whatever he wanted. Something you also think - that he should not be convicted, therefore, that he was entitled to do whatever he wanted.
This is an opinion board.
Except when facts are involved....
If you think you are altering my opinion by talking down to me, you are mistaken. The State of Minnesota has missed it's mark on this case.
Latter Day Faints

Philadelphia, PA

#49 Apr 24, 2014
Yuletide wrote:
Sally,
I couldn't agree more. His doors and windows were locked. How did he know they were coming?
You've deliberately confused the point again.

He's not on trial because he shot once at intruders.

It's because after he shot them each once he calmly walked up and executed them, and then said as much to the cops.

Locked windows or "knowing they were coming" has nothing to do with his self described "kill shot." That was after all the other events.
Yuletide

Seattle, WA

#50 Apr 24, 2014
Pretty People wrote:
This story should have never even made the news. The only reason it did as the girl was kinda cute.
I think this trial is a waste of time and money.
It is a sad state of affairs that a senior citizen sitting in his on home quietly reading has to be the repeated victim of habitual criminals. I side with Mr. Smith 100%. Of course he isn't very cute.
Retired senior citizen living alone. No criminal record
Sally

Arlington, TX

#51 Apr 24, 2014
Later, You do not read the posts of others very well! I know the facts, I expressed them in detail. I know he did not shoot them once and call 911! Speaking of FACTS, you can't be GUILTY of lying in wait in your own dammed LOCKED home! You CAN be guilty of shooting and killing downed intruders beyond the point of a "clear and present" danger to your own life and limb. But, whether or not he thought intruders might come in, no one can say that he didn't panic in the heat of the moment and overkill. It may even explain his waiting to call the police... Fear of going to jail? Well, he must be psychic I guess.

This man should have been charged with whatever they charge cops with after...say.... the sixth shot is fired, or when they kill someone with a cell phone they thought was a gun, how about when a mentally challenged man has a butter knife? As for shooting people in the first place, virtually no one does that without intending to kill, even and especially cops. Only in old Westerns does the 'good' guy 'wing' someone in case you didn't know that. Get this "Latter" I am only applying that to the first shots fired while the intruders were still a threat.

Thank you Yuletide for having a grasp of the discussion!
Yuletide

Seattle, WA

#52 Apr 24, 2014
Sally,
If Mr. Smith is convicted of "lying in wait" in the confines of his own locked home, felons everywhere will celebrate and law abiding citizens will have their hands tied in defending themselves and their property.

Anyone that shoots is intending to kill. So yes, let's charge Mr. Smith with failure to immediately report a crime.

As it turns out from the medical examiner both kids would have died from their injuries even if the "kill shots" hadn't happened.

These kids terrorized this old man for a long period of time.
Sally

Arlington, TX

#53 Apr 24, 2014
Yuletide wrote:
Sally,
If Mr. Smith is convicted of "lying in wait" in the confines of his own locked home, felons everywhere will celebrate and law abiding citizens will have their hands tied in defending themselves and their property.
Anyone that shoots is intending to kill. So yes, let's charge Mr. Smith with failure to immediately report a crime.
As it turns out from the medical examiner both kids would have died from their injuries even if the "kill shots" hadn't happened.
These kids terrorized this old man for a long period of time.
Thank you Yuletide for telling us that the intruders would have died of the initial injuries. Yes, Mr. Smith seems to be guilty of not immediately reporting a crime. I 100% agree that no one, regardless of events after the break in should be charged with "lying in wait" in their own locked homes. I have studied many crimes where there was actual "lying in wait," that sometimes even involved luring the victim to the crime location by a third party, or a maintenance man letting himself into a woman's apartment and waiting in a closet prior to a rape and murder. This case's use of that charge is outrageous and puts all potential crime victims in fear of basic self defense rights by being armed in the first place. In fact, in Texas, that particular crime victim might well face the death penalty if convicted.
Buckshot

Hazel Crest, IL

#54 Apr 24, 2014
Why would he think they both deserved to die?
We'll know soon enough. To be so open about it all....... I'm sure he answered that question.
Torn

Mckeesport, PA

#55 May 20, 2014
I think the man lost his mind. His ramblings in the audio tape of him talking to himself, trying to convince himself that he was justified in what he did, going over his alibi are all proof that his anguish, fear and disgust at being robbed so many times and having his security breached took it's toll on him. It's very tragic for all involved. These kids had no business breaking into his house, on this particular day or any other. The man gave him a job, the kid worked for him and clearly had other intentions once he saw what he had. I know the guy moved his truck down the street so they would think he wasn't home but the fact remains that he never INVITED them in. They came of their own free will. Yes, he was waiting but there was no evidence that shows he "lured" them there on that particular day. I definitely agree that he was excessive and question why he waited until the next day to call anyone. Nothing about this case is clear but I think his sentence and conviction were harsh. If he had used a different type of gun and shot only once they'd still likely be dead but he would have been charged with a lesser crime. They paid the ultimate price for their decision. His own words are what caused his conviction, not just his actions. If he'd shown remorse or not been so callous he would have gained more sympathy from a jury of his peers.
My sympathies go out to all involved.

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