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Supreme Court won't review Byron Smith case

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news Brainerd, 56401
Brainerd MN 506 James St. / PO Box 974 56401

The Minnesota Supreme Court will not review the first-degree murder indictments against Byron Smith, 65, of Little Falls. The high court on Wednesday denied his request to reconsider the indictments, without comment.

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Smith faces two counts of first-degree murder in the Thanksgiving Day 2012 shooting deaths of Haile Kifer, 18, and her cousin, Nicholas Brady, 16.

Smith previously admitted to shooting the teens after the pair allegedly broke into his rural Little Falls. According to the criminal complaint, Smith shot the teenagers several times after they walked down his basement stairs.

A pre-trial hearing is scheduled for 1 p.m. Tuesday with jury selection in the trial expected to begin during the week of April 14.

Smith entered a not guilty plea in January.

The defendant’s attorney, Steven Meshbesher, had earlier filed appeals seeking a review of Judge Douglas Anderson’s decision to deny a defense motion seeking dismissal of the grand jury’s indictment. The defense argued the indictment wasn’t supported by probable cause, that the grand jury did not properly deliberate or vote on the indictment and that the indictment should be dismissed for cumulative errors.

Washington County attorney Peter Orput is prosecuting the state’s case.

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