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Juror: Recording Of Little Falls Killings Was Key

Photo by WJON.com’s Ashli Gerdes

LITTLE FALLS (AP) — Jurors say an audio recording of a Little Falls homeowner shooting two teens who broke into his home was a key piece of evidence in his conviction.

Sixty-five-year-old Byron Smith was found guilty Tuesday of premeditated murder in the deaths of 17-year-old Nick Brady and 18-year-old Haile Kifer.

One juror tells The Associated Press that the audio recording was “damning evidence.” Wes Hatlestad also says the jury decided Smith’s actions weren’t in self-defense.

But defense attorney Steve Meshbesher says Smith made that recording because he was afraid he’d be killed in his own home and wanted to have evidence for police.

Smith was immediately sentenced to life in prison without parole. Meshbesher says he plans to appeal.

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