On audio recording, Little Falls shooter called victims 'vermin'

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Jurors in the Byron Smith murder trial heard a recording of the accused calling his two teenage victims "vermin" shortly after he shot them to death on Thanksgiving Day 2012, the Associated Press reports.

The audio recording is a key piece of evidence in the first-degree murder trial of Smith, 65, who is on trial for killing Nicholas Brady, 17, and Haile Kifer, 18, after they broke into his Little Falls home. Smith claims he feared for his life and shot the teens in self-defense. Prosecutors say he went too far by continuing to shoot them after they are already injured and no longer posed a threat.

Smith had set up video and audio recording equipment in the wake of several break-ins at his house. The audio portions played for the jury Wednesday in Morrison County court were of Smith talking to himself after he shot the two teenagers.

At one point Smith was heard saying, "They weren't human. I don't see them as human. I see them as vermin." He also said to himself, "I'm doing my civic duty," the Star Tribune reports.

At another point, he said: “I’m a sucker. They think I’m there to take advantage of. Is that the reward for being a good person?”

The jury also watched some video which showed Brady approaching Smith's house at about 12:30 p.m. on that day, looking into the windows and trying doors, the Star Tribune reports.

An agent from the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension also testified how he found the audio and video recorders during a search of Smith's house, according to the AP.

Judge Douglas Anderson denied a defense motion for a mistrial Wednesday morning, according to the AP. The defense said it had not seen notes on some of the evidence gathered by state investigators, including how far Smith was from Kifer when he fired his gun at her.

Anderson also rejected a mistrial request, on different grounds, on Tuesday.

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