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Byron Smith Doesn’t Testify, Defense Rests Case

Photo by WJON.com’s Ashli Gerdes

LITTLE FALLS – A Little Falls man charged with fatally shooting two teenagers who broke into his home has waived his right to testify at his trial in Morrison County.

Haile Kifer and Nicholas Brady

Byron Smith told Judge Douglas Anderson that he had discussed the matter with his lawyer and opted not to take the stand.

The defense has officially rested their case in the Byron Smith murder trial.

The defense called on three witnesses this morning (Monday) who testified on behalf of Smith’s character.

Smith’s brother Bruce Smith took the stand. He says he believes Smith to be a very honest man.

The defense also called Smith’s neighbors Kathleen and John “Dilan” Lange to the stand. Smith has been living at their home along Riverwood Drive for the past 16 months. The Langes’ have known Smith for about four years. John “Dilan” Lange is Kathleen Lange’s son. John Lange said Smith gave his band permission to practice in his garage. Both Kathleen and John Lange testified saying they believe Smith to be an honest man.

The jury is in recess until 1:00 p.m., at that time the court will give the jury their instructions.

The judge has instructed the jury that final arguments could take place tomorrow morning.

The 65-year-old Little Falls man is on trial for first-degree premeditated murder. Smith claims he was defending himself and feared for his life after several break-ins.

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