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News / Northwest

Man who killed entire Kellogg family sentenced to life without parole

By Emma Epperly, The Spokesman-Review
Published: March 26, 2024, 7:47am

WALLACE, Idaho — Gasps rang through a packed courtroom Monday as the man who shot and killed an entire family in Kellogg last year was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Majorjon Kaylor, 32, pleaded guilty in December to executing his four neighbors last summer.

Dozens of family members of Kenneth Guardipee, 65; his daughter, Kenna Guardipee, 41; and her sons, Devin R. Smith, 18; and Aiken Smith, 16, shared memories of the family and anger toward Kaylor at the sentencing Monday.

“What you did that day was well beyond the sanity of a normal human,” said Joe Guardipee, Ken’s brother. “You decided to be judge and jury. You decided to play God.”

He described Kenna Guardipee as a hardworking single mother who was protective of her sons. She fostered a love of the outdoors in her boys, taking them camping, huckleberry picking and skiing. Ken Guardipee was enjoying his retirement and spending time with his grandsons while recovering from a heart attack.

Aiken was working hard in junior ROTC and had dreams of making the military his career. Devin Smith had some mental issues but was being supported by his family as he figured out his next steps, his uncle said.

He said Kaylor, who talked about wanting to take matters into his own hands before, not only traumatized the Guardipee family but his own.

“What a man you are; not only did you destroy my family, but yours as well,” Joe Guardipee said.

David Silva, Aiken and Devin Smith’s grandfather, was emotional while giving his statement to the court.

He was closest with Aiken, who he called “the shining star.”

“I lost my best friend,” Silva said through tears.

The pair had been working on a 1957 Jeep Wrangler together. Now, Silva has no one to pass it on to.

“Our family was needlessly murdered; three generations, an entire legacy was completely destroyed,” he said.

Silva’s wife and Kenna Guardipee’s mother, Jerrilyn Silva, detailed her struggle to get through these last few months without her daughter and grandsons.

“I have bad times, all day every day,” she said.

Cheryl Guardipee, Ken Guardipee’s sister, made a similar statement.

“My trust in humanity has been challenged,” she said.

Everyone who spoke asked for the maximum sentence.

Kaylor told police he “snapped” and “did something about it” after Devin Smith allegedly exposed himself to Kaylor’s wife and children through a window, court documents said. Investigators said they had earlier recommended misdemeanor charges against Smith, but prosecutors had not filed the criminal case when he was killed.

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Kaylor’s guilty pleas were reached as a result of mediation between the state and defense to charge him with second-degree murder instead of first-degree murder. The agreement also dismisses a felony burglary charge.

According to a sealed pre-sentencing report, read in part by Judge Barbara Duggan in court Monday, Kaylor said “sexual predators” moved into his duplex.

Kaylor said authorities were called twice but failed to do anything.

Kaylor’s attorney argued that he had come from an extremely abusive family but had risen above, avoiding drug addiction or repeated criminal activity, instead working hard to create a family of his own.

Kaylor asked to at least have a chance at parole.

Prosecutors pointed to how horrific the shootings were, with at least three of the family members having muzzle burns on their temples.

They argued that the crime was so extreme and severe that Kaylor should be sentenced to 50 years in prison.

Duggan found that the Kaylors had only reported Devin Smith once to police, who had investigated. She noted that at that time, Kaylor told police he would take things into his own hands if he felt he needed to.

Then on June 18, just a few days later, Kaylor could be seen looking around the duplex not long before the shooting.

“This was a calculated choice that you made,” Duggan said.

Due to the heinous nature of the crime and number of victims, Duggan sentenced Kaylor to life without the possibility of parole.

Gasps rang through the courtroom, and many of the Guardipees’ family members sobbed. Kaylor’s wife and his friends and family also broke down crying.

“I did not reach this decision lightly,” Duggan said before Kaylor was quickly led out of the courtroom.