Minnesota man convicted of 1st-, 2nd-degree murder

AMY FORLITI
FILE - This Nov. 23, 2012 file photo provided by the Morrison County sheriff's office shows Byron David Smith, a Minnesota man accused of killing two teenagers who broke into his home in November last year. The Minnesota homeowner who shot and killed two teenagers during a break-in was convicted Tuesday, April 29, 2014, of premeditated murder. (AP Photo/Morrison County Sheriff's Office, File)

LITTLE FALLS, Minn. (AP) — A Minnesota homeowner who shot and killed two teenagers during a break-in has been convicted of premeditated murder.

Byron Smith had claimed he was simply defending himself during the break-in at his home in the small city of Little Falls on Thanksgiving Day 2012.

Smith's attorney said the 65-year-old was fearful after previous burglaries.

But prosecutors argued that Smith waited in his basement and intended to kill the teens. A total of nine shots were fired at 17-year-old Nick Brady and 18-year-old Haile (HAY'-lee) Kifer.

Minnesota law allows a person to use deadly force for defense, but that action must be considered reasonable. Jurors found him guilty of both first-degree and second-degree murder charges.