Byron Smith to appeal conviction for killing 2 Little Falls teens

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Attorneys for Byron Smith, the Little Falls man convicted in April of shooting two teenagers to death in the basement of his home, have filed a motion with the state Supreme Court saying they intend to appeal the verdict, the Star Tribune reports.

Smith, 65, was found guilty on four murder charges 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 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.

Smith's attorney Steve Meshbesher said after the trial concluded that he planned to file an appeal, saying the judge had prohibited him from introducing evidence about the teens’ histories, including court documents that showed Brady had broken into Smith’s house and garage before, WCCO reports.

Meshbesher is also appealing the judge's order that Smith pay restitution of $21,859.70 to Haile Kifer's mother, according to the Star Tribune. The judge has not yet ordered Smith to pay restitution to Brady's family.

A court hearing on the restitution issue is set for late August. Meshbesher said he will review the trial transcripts in depth as he prepares the appeal, according to KSTP.

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