A Minnesota homeowner named Byron David Smith has stirred up a great deal of controversy for shooting and killing two unarmed intruders in his house.  He supposedly shot Nicholas Brady, 17, and Haile Kifer, 18 to death after they allegedly broke into Smith’s home on Thanksgiving.  Smith is being charged with two counts of second-degree murder. 

Smith apparently told the police that he shot the teenagers numerous times until they were dead.  He also told the police that once the two teenagers were clearly wounded on the ground but still alive, he shot Brady in the face.  He also shot Kifer from under her chin into her cranium.  Moreover, Smith told the police that neither of the intruders had a weapon on them.

According to a source, if Smith had stopped shooting the intruders once they were on the ground, he wouldn’t be facing criminal charges. However, because he shot them to the point of death, he is being charged with two counts of second-degree murder.

How much force is too much force when defending yourself?

If faced with a situation where you need to defend yourself from unlawful force, you may either use deadly force or non-deadly force.  Of course, the type of force that may be used depends on the situation.

You may use non-deadly force when it is reasonably necessary to protect yourself from unlawful force.  You may use deadly force in self-defense if you are “confronted with unlawful force and are threatened with imminent death or great bodily harm.”

Can you use deadly force when defending your property?

You may never use to deadly force while defending your property.

Self-defense laws vary by state.  For example, in Minnesota, homeowners are permitted to defend themselves and their property if they believe they are in danger.  To learn more about self-defense laws in your state, contact a criminal law attorney today.  You may also watch informational videos about self defense on our website.

Do you think Smith exceeded his right to use self-defense?

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