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Testimony reveals Byron Smith had active cellphone jammer in his home

LITTLE FALLS — Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) investigators discovered a cellphone jammer in the days after the 2012 Thanksgiving Day shooting at the home of Byron Smith, according to court testimony Wednesday.

BCA agent William Bennett told the court that the device — which he referred to as a “cellphone interrupter,” was discovered on the kitchen counter of Smith’s rural Little Falls home.

Photos submitted as evidence showed the device, approximately the size of a cigarette box, was near a window hidden behind what appeared to be a bottle of cooking oil.

Bennett said the device was high end; the kind that could block out both kinds of cellphone signals and block a phone from making or receiving calls.

“It would render a cellphone useless,” Bennett said.

Bennett told the court he turned the device on and attempted to use his own cellphone inside the house and then the phone of another agent. Neither phone worked.

Defense attorney Steven Meshbesher asked Bennett if the cellphone jammer was seized as evidence. It was not seized and not available in court at evidence.

“I tested it on scene and it was doing its job,” Bennett said.

Meshbesher questioned the size of the device and whether it would have been difficult to catalog as evidence. Bennett said it would not have.

SARAH NELSON KATZENBERGER may be reached at sarah.nelsonkatzenberger@brainerddispatch.com or 855-5879.

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