The next court date for the man accused of shooting two teenage intruders at his home in Little Falls on Thanksgiving Day has been pushed back to May.
Morrison County District Judge Douglas Anderson on Tuesday rescheduled a Jan. 22 omnibus hearing for May 6 at the request of Steven Meshbesher, a Twin Cities defense attorney who represents Byron David Smith, a retired U.S. State Department employee who faces two counts of murder in the shooting deaths of Nick Brady, 17, and Haile Kifer, 18.
In requesting the delay, Meshbesher noted in a letter to the judge that DNA and toxicology lab work in the case won’t be complete until early spring. He also said that the defense must gather and review “a significant volume” of information and evidence that prosecutors plan to introduce in the case.
“There’s just a lot of stuff yet we don’t have,” said Kevin Gregorius, an attorney working with Meshbesher.
Smith, who was released from custody in December after posting bond, faces two counts of second-degree murder in the deaths of the teens, who were cousins.
He has told authorities that he fired multiple shots at the teenagers as they broke into his house near the Mississippi River around noon on Thanksgiving Day.
A prosecutor later said in court that an audio recording of the shootings indicated that Smith shot Brady three times as he walked down the stairs to Smith’s basement. Smith then dragged Brady’s body to a nearby work room.
He shot Kifer about 10 minutes later after she walked down the stairs. When his rifle jammed, he switched to a revolver and shot her several more times, delivering a final shot to her head, a prosecutor said.
Northeast Minnesota homeowners will now have until Jan. 31 to apply for forgivable, interest-free loans to return their dwellings to pre-disaster condition following the June storm that deluged the area with 7 inches of flood-causing rain. Minnesota Housing Commissioner Mary Tingerthal announced the extension Friday at a recovery update press conference in Carlton.
“In the last couple weeks, we’ve had about 300 new applications that are now in the queue for caseworkers,” she said in a telephone interview. “We heard some compelling stories coming from Pine County and expect to see the biggest influx of applications coming from that geographical area.”
The Quick Start Disaster Recover Program provides last-resort help when private insurance or federal aid aren’t enough to get homes back to shape. Despite outreach efforts including phone calls, direct mail and community meetings, several eligible households hadn’t applied for the loans by the original December deadline, according to Minnesota Housing spokeswoman Megan Ryan.
She said to secure loans from $1,000 to $40,000 per house from the program, residents first must have been denied Small Business Administration assistance or their needs had to exceed available federal help. The loans will be forgiven in 10 years as long as the home is the borrower’s primary residence or has been continually owned by the landlord for a decade. Ryan urges eligible homeowners to contact Minnesota Housing administrators at 1-800-657-3647 to help them apply or explore other resources.
Six months ago, historic rainfall swamped northeastern Minnesota, washing out roads and devastating everything from Duluth’s zoo to the iconic swinging bridge at Jay Cooke State Park.
Six months ago, 7 inches of rain swamped northeastern Minnesota, washing out road and devastating everything from Duluth's zoo to the iconic swinging bridge at Jay Cooke State Park.
Various regional officials, including Duluth Mayor Don Ness and Public Safety Commissioner Mona Dohman, have scheduled a Friday 11 a.m. press conference in Carlton, Minn., where they'll provide an update on on the recovery efforts from that storm.
The biggest news is expected to be an extension of time to apply for forgiveable loans that homeowners affected by the deluge and flooding can use to help return damaged dwellings to pre-disaster conditions. That so-called Minnesota Quick Start Program was slated to run out in the middle of this month. Homeowners will now have until Jan. 4, according to Department of Public Safety spokesman Bruce Gordon.
Officials from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Homeland Security and Carlton County are expected at Friday's briefing.
Consider them live, professional scare crows.
In its long battle against the 15,000 to 20,000 crows that hang out in its downtown, the City of Rochester has hired anti-crow warriors from the USDA. Crews are working through the night, on the city's dime, to harass the birds out of town with lasers, pyrotechnics and recordings of crow distress calls, according to the Rochester Post-Bulletin.
City officials will analyze the effectiveness of the work after five nights. To see the newspaper's full story, go here.
A Redwood Falls man was charged in Renville County on Tuesday with attempted first-degree murder and other charges after leading officers on a 38-mile chase, ramming his pickup truck into an occupied squad car and driving toward another officer who had to dive out of the way to avoid being struck, the West Central Tribune in Willmar reports.
The chase began when a sheriff's deputy tried to stop the pickup driver, who had a canceled license, according to the report. The defendant is accused of driving into a ditch to avoid squad cars and traveling up to 80 miles per hour. See the full story here.