Smith trial to begin in April

Court sets two-week block for jury selection and trial

By Terry LehrkeNews Editor

Byron Smith

Byron Smith

A trial date has been set for Monday, April 21 in the case of the state versus Byron David Smith of Little Falls.

Smith, initially charged with second-degree murder,  was indicted in April 2013 by a grand jury on first-degree murder charges in the shooting deaths of Haile Kifer, 18, and Nicholas Brady, 17, while they were allegedly burglarizing his home Nov. 22, 2012.

During today’s (Thursday, January 23) plea hearing, Smith entered a plea of not guilty.

Haile Kifer

Haile Kifer

Steven Meshbesher, Smith’s defense attorney, informed the court that a motion would be submitted to the Minnesota Supreme Court asked to appeal a recent decision by the state appellate court not to offer a discretionary review of Judge Douglas P. Anderson’s Nov. 22, 2013 decision not to dismiss the first-degree murder charges.

Anderson set the week of April 14 aside for jury selection.

A pretrial date of Tuesday, March 25, at 1 p.m., was set as well.

Nick Brady

Nick Brady

The case is being prosecuted by Washington County Attorney Peter Orput along with his associate, Brent Wartner. Both were named as special Morrison County assistant attorneys.

Meshbesher is being assisted by Attorney Adam Johnson on the defense.

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