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First-degree murder charges stand in Little Falls case

Posted by: Pam Louwagie Updated: November 25, 2013 - 12:45 PM

First-degree, premeditated murder charges will stand against a Little Falls man who shot two teenage intruders last Thanksgiving.

A Morrison County grand jury had issued the first-degree murder indictments in April against 64-year-old Byron David Smith for the shooting deaths of Haile Kifer, 18, and her cousin Nick Brady, 16, as they broke into Smith’s home along the backwaters of the Mississippi River. Prosecutors have said that Smith shot the unarmed teens multiple times as they walked down his basement stairs about 10 minutes apart.

Defense attorneys  for Smith, a retired U.S. State Department employee who set up security systems for embassies, requested that a judge dismiss the indictment and suppress evidence in the case.  They argued that prosecutors made too many mistakes in presenting the case to the grand jury. They also argued that the court should suppress Smith’s statements when police first arrived at his house the day after the shootings.

Judge Douglas P. Anderson denied the defense motions in an order and 22-page memo issued late Friday. 

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