MN Supreme Court will hear case of Little Falls killer who argues self-defense

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Minnesota's Supreme Court has agreed to hear the appeal of Byron Smith, who argues he was defending his Little Falls home from burglars when he fatally shot two teenagers on Thanksgiving Day 2012.

The Brainerd Dispatch reports the high court set a Sept. 3 date to hear arguments in the case.

Smith is serving a life prison sentence after his conviction on first-degree murder charges in the shooting deaths of Haile Kifer, 18, and Nick Brady, 17, who had broken into his home on that day.

After an eight-day trial last year, jurors needed just a few hours of deliberation to agree with prosecutors who said Smith had crossed the line from self-defense to murder by shooting the unarmed teens repeatedly after they were wounded.

Smith's lawyer argued in his appeal that rulings by the trial judge prevented him from a full defense. In particular, the defense wanted to introduce evidence of previous break-ins by Keifer and Brady.

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