Nick Brady, Little Falls teen killed by Byron Smith, linked to two burglaries at Smith's home

According to prosecutors, Smith hired Brady to do odd jobs, then Brady turned around and stole from his home.
According to prosecutors, Smith hired Brady to do odd jobs, then Brady turned around and stole from his home.

After he was charged with second-degree murder in connection with the grisly Thanksgiving killings of Little Falls teens Nick Brady and Haile Kifer in his home, Byron Smith claimed that he was the victim of eight burglaries in recent years accounting for tens of thousands of dollars in stolen items.

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Now, a criminal complaint filed against a third Little Falls teen links Brady to two of those burglaries.

From the Star Tribune:

Nick Brady, 17, allegedly broke into Smith's house and later, his garage, and stole several items, including an envelope filled with cash, a video camcorder and a chain saw, according to two criminal complaints filed in Morrison County District Court this week...

The details of the burglaries involving Brady were spelled out in two criminal complaints filed this week against Cody M. Kasper, 17, a friend of Brady's who faces charges of aiding and abetting in connection with the crimes, which occurred last summer and fall.

Like Brady, Kasper once worked odd jobs for Smith cleaning up the homeowner's property.

One complaint said that after the summer burglary, Brady bought Kasper an ATV as well as clothes and shoes for his help.

Twin Cities defense attorney Steve Meshbesher, who represents Smith, said Tuesday that the charges against Kasper and Brady's involvement help build the case that Smith had been repeatedly victimized.

Brady and Kifer were shot to death while breaking into Smith's home. Minnesota law allows a homeowner to use deadly force to kill an intruder if it's necessary to prevent the commission of a felony in their home, but Smith, in comments made to police following his arrest, portrayed the killings in cold-blooded terms. From Fox 9:

According to the charges, Smith told investigators he shot [Brady] as he walked down the stairs, then shot him again in the face as he lay on the floor looking at him.

"I want him dead," Smith told police.

Smith said he sat down in a chair when Kifer started walking down the steps. Smith shot her and she also fell down the stairs. He tried to shoot her a second time, but his rifle jammed. When the gun jammed, Kifer laughed at him, fueling his anger.

"If you're trying to shoot somebody and they laugh at you, you go again," he told police.

Does the allegation that Brady was involved in two previous burglaries of Smith's home have any bearing on whether Smith is guilty of two counts of second-degree murder? It's a tragically fascinating question, but we'll have to wait a while for answers, as Smith's next court appearance isn't scheduled until May 6.

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