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Crookston Times - Crookston, MN
  • Minnesota homeowner fights victims restitution

  • A Minnesota man convicted of murder in the killing of two unarmed teenagers who broke into his home returned to court Tuesday to contest the restitution that prosecutors are asking he pay for the deaths.
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  • A Minnesota man convicted of murder in the killing of two unarmed teenagers who broke into his home returned to court Tuesday to contest the restitution that prosecutors are asking he pay for the deaths.
    Byron Smith, 66, testified about what was stolen from his Little Falls home during a series of burglaries before the Thanksgiving Day 2012 shootings.
    Smith cried as he described his family building the house, which sits along the Mississippi River, the Star Tribune reported.
    A Morrison County jury convicted Smith of premeditated murder in April for killing 17-year-old Nick Brady and his 18-year-old cousin, Haile Kifer. Smith was immediately sentenced to life in prison without parole. He is appealing the verdict to the Minnesota Supreme Court.
    Smith argues that because Brady stole items from his house during previous burglaries, he shouldn't have to pay restitution to Brady's family. He's also contesting the $21,859 he was ordered to pay Kifer's family.
    An 18-year-old friend of Brady's testified Tuesday that he had acted as a lookout for Brady during three burglaries in which Brady stole cash, a chain saw, copper wire and other items. The friend testified he knew of guns that Brady had stolen from Smith in a separate burglary that he was not involved in.
    Smith testified that more than $53,000 worth of cash, coins and other items were taken from his house during five burglaries. His insurance reimbursed him for $16,000, he said.

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