Contested omnibus hearing for Smith set for Aug. 30

By Terry Lehrke, News Editor

A contested omnibus hearing for Byron David Smith, Little Falls, has been set for Friday, Aug. 30.

Smith, 64, was charged with two counts of second-degree murder in November 2012, in the shooting deaths of Haile Kifer and Nick Brady, cousins who were allegedly breaking into his home Thanksgiving Day.

In April, Smith was indicted on two counts of first-degree premeditated murder by a Morrison County grand jury.

During Monday’s hearing, during which the defendant could not offer any plea other than “guilty,” no plea was entered.

The defense waived the reading of the indictment. Smith’s attorney Steve Meshbesher asked for a contested omnibus hearing regarding issues of statements and physical evidence.

At this type of hearing, admissibility of some of the evidence at trial will be contested.

Washington County Attorney Pete Orput is the prosecutor in the case, assisted by Brent Wartner.

Both the defense and prosecution agreed motions would be offered to the court by Aug. 7 with responses to be given by Aug. 14, giving the judge two weeks to consider them.

The case is being heard by Morrison County Judge Douglas Anderson.