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Six jurors chosen in Byron Smith trial

Posted by: Pam Louwagie Updated: April 14, 2014 - 5:26 PM

Four women and two men were chosen Monday to serve as jurors in Byron Smith's trial for killing two teenage intruders in his Little Falls home.

Smith, 65, is facing two counts of first-degree premeditated murder in the Thanksgiving 2012 deaths of 18-year-old Haile Kifer and 17-year-old Nick Brady, who had broken into his house on the Mississippi River.

Smith is claiming he acted in defense of himself and his home in shooting the teens as they descended his basement stairs about 10 minutes apart. Prosecutors say he went too far by continuing to shoot the teens, who were already wounded.

In Minnesota, a person can justifiably take a life to avert death or great bodily harm, or to prevent a felony in his or her home. Juries are instructed to consider the circumstances and whether it was a decision "a reasonable person would have made in light of the danger perceived."

Court officials said Monday that 130 prospective jurors were called for the case in Morrison County. Twenty were questioned in the courtroom on Monday. Jury selection will resume Tuesday, with 15 jurors called each morning and each afternoon until the jury is chosen.

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