Byron Smith files appeal of conviction for killing 2 Little Falls teens

Author:
Updated:
Original:

Attorneys for Byron Smith, the Little Falls man convicted last year of first-degree murder for killing two teenagers who had broken into his home, have filed a 51-page brief with the Minnesota Supreme Court outlining why they believe his conviction should be overturned, the Star Tribune reports.

The move was expected, as Smith's attorneys filed papers with the Supreme Court last June indicating their intention to appeal.

Smith, 66, was found guilty in April 2014 on two counts of first-degree murder and two counts of second-degree murder for fatally shooting cousins Haile Kifer, 18, and Nick Brady, 17, after they broke into his Little Falls home on Thanksgiving Day in 2012. He was sentenced to life in prison with no possibility of parole.

Smith’s trial brought to the forefront a debate over how far a homeowner can go to protect himself from intruders. Smith had argued that he fired at the two teenagers to defend his home from intruders, which is legal in Minnesota.

But the jury agreed with the prosecution, which said Smith had planned the attack ahead of time and crossed the line by continuing to shoot the teens after they were already injured and no longer posed a threat.

In the brief filed Monday, Smith’s attorneys argued the presiding judge made several errors that prevented them from providing Smith a "complete defense," according to the Star Tribune.

They repeated an issue they raised after Smith's conviction – that the judge did not allow the defense to introduce evidence about the teens’ histories, including court documents that showed Brady had broken into Smith’s house and garage before.

The attorneys are asking the high court to vacate Smith’s conviction and either dismiss his first-degree murder indictment or send his case back to district court for a new trial, according to the Star Tribune.

Separately, Smith has been ordered to pay the families of the two victims $21,000 in restitution.

Next Up

high school football

Minnesota Football Showcase postponed due to COVID-19

The MFCA All-Star Game will be played in June 2021.

Screen Shot 2020-10-31 at 7.26.05 AM

Here's what President Trump said on his visit to Minnesota

The president targeted Gov. Tim Walz and Keith Ellison at his Minnesota rally.

Screen Shot 2020-10-30 at 6.09.58 PM

Here's what Joe Biden said in Minnesota Friday

Presenting himself as the candidate for a united country, he pledged improvements on affordable healthcare, pandemic relief

Mohamed Ibrahim

Missed PAT seals Gophers' fate against Maryland

Mohamed Ibrahim tied a school record with four touchdowns, but the Gophers lost in overtime.

dnr trout stocking helicopter

DNR uses a helicopter to more efficiently stock lakes with trout

In the past, the DNR used airplanes to stock remote lakes with fish, but the survival rate of the fish was only 85%.

steve simon zoom call

Secretary of State explains plans for segregated absentee ballots

Election officials are reminding voters that it's too late to mail in your absentee ballots.

Halloween, trick-or-treating

Osterholm on safe trick-or-treating: 'I would say go ahead with it'

The infectious disease expert's opinion doesn't align with the CDC's guidance.

drop and go ballot plymouth

It's too late to mail your ballot, but you can still vote. Here's how.

Voters can drop off their absentee ballot, vote early in-person or head to the polls on Election Day.

2019-12-11 f1rst Wrestling Hanukka Havok-Darin Kamnetz-154

Dusting itself off after virus blow, F1rst Wrestling returns to the ring this Sunday

Minnesota's premier independent wrestling company was on top of the world before the virus hit.

1024px-McD-McRib

McDonald's is bringing the McRib back in December

It hasn't appeared on menus for eight years.

Related