Defense rests, Byron Smith won't take stand in Little Falls murder trial

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Byron Smith, the man on trial for shooting and killing two teenagers that broke into his Little Falls home on Thanksgiving Day in 2012, has waived his right to testify and the defense rested its case Monday, reports say.

Smith faces first-degree murder charges in the deaths of cousins Haile Kifer, 18, and Nick Brady, 17. Smith has argued that he fired at the teens in defending his home from intruders, which is legal in Minnesota, but prosecutors say he crossed a line when he continued to fire at the unarmed teens after injuring them.

Smith told Judge Douglas Anderson Monday that he discussed testifying with his lawyer and has decided not to take the stand, KSTP reports. KARE 11 says that Smith was willing to testify, but his lawyer advised him not to.

The defense rested its case Monday morning after calling witnesses that testified to Smith's honest character, the Star Tribune reports.

Last week the prosecution presented its case, which included audiotapes, recorded by Smith, of the shootings and the aftermath when he continued talking, apparently to himself. In the recordings, Smith could be heard calling the victims "vermin."

Closing arguments are expected to begin at 9 a.m. Tuesday. The case will then go to the jury.

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