Deb Pastner, Minnesota Department of Corrections
June 4: Byron Smith appeals conviction for killing 2 Little Falls teens
- Article by: Pam Louwagie
- Star Tribune
- June 4, 2014 - 9:52 PM
Attorneys for Byron Smith, the Little Falls, Minn., man convicted of shooting two teenage intruders, have sent a notice of appeal to the state Supreme Court.
But before they appeal the entire case, they want to fight a Morrison County judge’s order that Smith pay $21,859.70 in restitution to the mother of Haile Kifer, killed in the double shooting along with her cousin, 17-year-old Nick Brady, in November.
Smith “intends on introducing evidence … contesting the amounts of restitution sought and ordered,” according to his court motion Wednesday. The judge had not yet ordered restitution to Brady’s family.
Because Brady was involved in prior burglaries, Smith would have been able to seek restitution money from Brady, Judge Douglas Anderson wrote: “ … then it seems appropriate that the amount of restitution would potentially be an offset against restitution owed by defendant (Smith) in the present action.”
Defense attorney Steve Meshbesher said he plans to call witnesses to “talk about the value of those things” and any other money the families may have received.
Smith, who turns 66 next week, is serving two life sentences for shooting Kifer and Brady after they broke into his home. His case raised questions about how far a homeowner can go to defend himself and his property.
Smith had claimed he was terrified after prior break-ins and was defending himself and his property.
Prosecutors contended that Smith crossed the line by continuing to shoot the teens after they were no longer a threat. They said he sat waiting in his basement, then coldly executed the teens as they descended his stairs about 10 minutes apart.
Meshbesher said after the April 29 verdict that he planned a vigorous appeal because he wasn’t allowed to show jurors all the evidence that he felt was necessary.
He sought to introduce evidence of Kifer and Brady’s previous troubles with the law. A restitution hearing is scheduled for August 26.
Pam Louwagie • 612-673-7102
© 2014 Star Tribune