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Trial Continues for Little Falls Homeowner Charged with Murder

Updated: 04/22/2014 7:36 AM
Created: 04/20/2014 9:24 PM KSTP.com

Prosecutors are playing jurors a Minnesota man's taped interview with police after he shot and killed two teenagers who broke into his house.
    
Monday was the first day of Byron Smith's trial. He faces first-degree premeditated murder charges in the deaths of 17-year-old Nick Brady and 18-year-old Haile Kifer in the small central Minnesota town of Little Falls on Thanksgiving Day 2012.
    
Smith told police in the recording that his house had been broken into several times. He said he was living in fear and had taken to wearing a gun on his hip. Smith also told police he was "no longer willing to live in fear."
   
Defense attorney Steve Meshbesher says Smith's home had been targeted by burglars a dozen times, who took valuables and guns. Meshbesher highlighted one break-in about a month before the shootings in which someone kicked in a door.
    
He says Smith was terrified and had begun wearing a holster and pistol around the house.
    
However, prosecutors say Smith went beyond self-defense and killed the teens after they were no longer a threat.

Defense Attorney Steve Meshbesher argues Smith's actions were lawful and what happened is tragic but not murder.

Testimony resumes at 9 a.m. Tuesday morning.


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