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State supreme court won't reconsider charges in Little Falls intruder shootings

Posted by: Pam Louwagie Updated: March 20, 2014 - 1:20 PM

The state's high court has denied a Little Falls man's request to reconsider first-degree murder indictments against him in the shooting deaths of two teens who broke into his home.

Byron David Smith, 65, had sought a review by the Minnesota Supreme Court after a Morrison County grand jury issued the indictments in April and a district judge let them stand. Without comment, the court declined to hear the appeal.

Smith is charged in the shooting deaths of Haile Kifer, 18, and her cousin Nick Brady, 17, as they broke into Smith’s home along the backwaters of the Mississippi River on Thanksgiving day in 2012. Prosecutors have said that Smith shot the unarmed teens multiple times after wounding them as they walked down his basement stairs several minutes apart.

His defense attorney had filed appeals seeking to dismiss the indictment and suppress evidence in the case against Smith, a retired U.S. State Department employee who set up security systems for embassies. The defense contended that prosecutors made too many mistakes in presenting the case to the grand jury.

The case has ignited the debate of how far a homeowner can go to defend himself and protect his property.

Smith's trial is scheduled for mid-April.
 

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