Intruder killed by Autauga Co. homeowner IDed; second suspect arrested

Published: Apr. 4, 2014 at 9:55 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 3, 2014 at 3:51 PM CDT
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Bryan James Vance (Source: Autauga County Sheriff's Dept.)
Bryan James Vance (Source: Autauga County Sheriff's Dept.)

AUTAUGA CO., AL (WSFA) - One person is dead and a second is under arrest after a robbery early Friday morning in Autauga County in which the homeowner fired shots.

Authorities say 18-year-old Marbury resident Mikel Steven Smith of Marbury was killed when he tried to force his way into a home overnight in the Booth community.

According to Autauga County Chief Deputy Joe Sedinger, Smith was armed with a knife when he tried to break into the home on County Road 81. Sedinger said the female homeowner feared for her safety, and for that of her niece, when she fired several shots at the intruder.

"He knocked on the door and tried to gain entrance by saying he needed help that he was broke down," Sedinger explained. "When she came to the door, he pushed the door open. She said when he came in her house with the knife, she shot him."

Responding officers found Smith's body about 30 feet away from the home. He was pronounced dead shortly after 12:30 a.m. Drag marks lead investigators to believe another person was involved and a second 'person of interest' was taken into custody later Friday morning.

Later in the day, authorities charged 32-year-old James Bryan Vance with first degree robbery in connection to the case. He's being held on a $15,000 bond.

Sedinger says the suspects are not related and there does not appear to be any connection between the intruder and the homeowner.

He also says it is unlikely that the homeowner will face any charges, but that the case will be presented to a grand jury once the investigation is completed.

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