Key evidence released in Smith murder trial

LITTLE FALLS, Minn. - Byron Smith faces a life in prison after a jury found him guilty of murdering two teenage cousins who broke into his home on Thanksgiving 2012.

Key evidence gathered in the investigation was a recording that police found. The audio detailed what happened inside of the home and it was made by Smith himself.

The police interrogation video was also released. The tapes were heard by jurors, but not released to the public until Tuesday after the verdict was returned.

The audio tapes painted a chilling picture -- Smith preparing to execute two teenagers that he believed had broken into his home several times.

"They weren't human. I didn't see them as human. I see them as vermin," Smith said.

He said he was done living in fear in the recording.

He spoke specifically about 18 year-old Haili Kifer, who can be heard screaming on the tape when Smith's gun jammed. He switched weapons, before delivering what he called a finishing shot under her chin.

"This (expletive) was going to go through life spoiling things for other people, thieving, robbing, drug use," Smith said.

"It's all fun, cool, exciting, highly profitable, until someone kills you," he said later.

Sgt. Investigator Jeremy Luberts conducted the first interview with Smith who waived his right to have an attorney present.

"Everybody has red buttons," Smith told Luberts. "Everybody has sore spots and I've known since grade school that being ganged up on is a sore spot for me."

In the interview, Smith also explained why he waited a full day to call police.

"That one really sticks out in my head," Luberts said. "And his answer. He didn't want to bother us on Thanksgiving. How many people would not call right away if something like that happened?"

To listen to the recordings in their entirety, go to


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