Sarah Nelson Katzenberger
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.
LITTLE FALLS — Audio recordings of initial law enforcement interviews with Byron Smith revealed Smith thought he had shot his neighbor’s daughter the day Nick Brady and Haile Kifer were killed in his rural Little Falls home. Smith’s criminal trial started Monday in Morrison County. He faces two indictments of first-degree murder. Smith told deputy investigator Jeremy Luberts that he thought a female neighbor, identified as Ashley Williams, had started breaking into his home 12-15 years ago.
LITTLE FALLS — The amount of time that passed while Byron Smith waited in his basement on Nov. 22 — Thanksgiving Day — 2012 may be the crux of the rural Little Falls man’s criminal trial. Smith’s trial began Monday in Morrison County. Smith admitted to shooting teens Nick Brady and Haile Kifer after they entered his rural Little Falls home without permission. Smith is charged with two counts of first-degree premeditated murder.
When two bombs exploded near the finish line of the 2013 Boston Marathon, Brainerd resident Melissa Goble was trying to board a subway train less than two blocks away. Goble had just finished running the marathon 20 minutes earlier — a pace 11 minutes faster than she intended. “It was crazy,” Goble recalled. “We had no idea what was happening.”
LITTLE FALLS — Jury selection continued Tuesday in the Byron Smith murder case in Morrison County. By the end of the day Tuesday the total number of selected jurors was 10. Smith admitted in November 2012 to shooting two teenagers, Nick Brady and Haile Kifer, after the pair allegedly entered Smith’s home without permission. As potential jurors continued to be interviewed, one by one, various connections to the victims emerged.
LITTLE FALLS — Jury selection began Monday in the murder trial of Byron Smith of rural Little Falls. Smith admitted in November 2012 to shooting two teenagers, Nick Brady and Haile Kifer, after the pair allegedly entered Smith’s home without permission. Judge Douglas Anderson said the ultimate question in the case was whether Smith’s action in shooting the teens multiple times was within the scope of the law that allows individuals to protect their home with lethal force while preventing a felony from being committed and danger is perceived.
Time is running out for Brainerd Lakes Regional Airport to come up with a solution for its aging septic and water system. The city of Brainerd, the Brainerd Lakes Area Economic Development Corporation (BLAEDC) and the Brainerd Lakes Chamber have joined with the airport in support of the $850 million state bonding measure that would provide $6.5 million to help extend the city of Brainerd’s water and sewer connection to the airport.
Brainerd area residents Jack Barry and Joe Heal share a common bond — they both know a single visit to the doctor’s office can change everything. Both will share their journeys in learning their diagnosis and the life changes that followed at the Today’s Health event host from 4-7 p.m. Friday at The Center in Brainerd. The event will focus on leukemia and diabetes. Last spring, Jack Barry visited his doctor after an ongoing battle with flu-like symptoms. “I just thought I was getting old,” he recalled.
Problems with the airport’s drain field are creating a sense of urgency on the part of airport officials regarding the need for a new sewage and water system. Airport Manager Jeff Wig reported Tuesday at the Brainerd Lakes Regional Airport Commission meeting that an issue with a plugged filter box revealed a crack in the drain field’s main line. Wig said the location of the crack made it a fairly simple fix for contractors already working on the plugged filter, but the situation could have been much worse.
While lingering winter weather and parking ramp capacity is contributing to longer security lines at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP), Brainerd Lakes Regional Airport manager Jeff Wig said it’s business as usual for flyers traveling out of Brainerd.