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Jurors In Byron Smith Trial Hear Chilling Audio Of Fatal Shootings [VIDEO]

LITTLE FALLS – It was a dramatic and disturbing start to the second day Tuesday of the Byron Smith murder trial in Little Falls.

65-year-old Byron Smith is charged with first-degree premeditated murder in the shooting deaths of 17-year-old Nick Brady and 18-year-old Haile Kifer. The teens broke into Smith’s Little Falls area home on Thanksgiving Day 2012.

Jurors heard testimony from two witnesses before the first recess. State trooper Karla Bearce, who lives at the home where Smith parked his silver Chevy on November 22, 2012, recalled what she remembered from that day.

BCA Special Agent Chad Museus was also called to the stand. During his testimony, the prosecution played the audio recording of the shooting deaths of 18-year-old Haile Kiefer and 17-year-old Nicolas Brady for the jury.

The audio recording reveals what sounds like glass shattering followed by footsteps down the stairs.  The sound of a gunshot is heard followed by a moan from Brady. One final shot is made to Brady as Smith says, “You’re dead.” The audio reveals what sounds like Brady’s body being dragged onto a tarp. There’s about an 11 minute lapse before the audio recorder picks up what is believed to be Kiefer’s footsteps from the upstairs of Smith’s home.  A few minutes pass before a Kiefer’s voice is recorded saying, “Nick.” The recorded footsteps get louder and shots are fired again. You can hear Kiefer fall down the stairs and scream. Smith says, “Sorry about that” and “You’re dying” before shooting her again multiple times. After the multiple shots, Smith calls her a “bitch.”

During cross examination of Museus, photos were shown of Brady’s body, the broken window, Kiefer’s hand bag, the workshop room and the basement. Smith’s attorney Steven Meshbesher questioned Museus on why the land line in the basement workroom wasn’t taken in as evidence and tested to see if it worked properly. Museus argued that during his investigation he made a phone call to the Morrison County Dispatch confirming that the phone worked. Meshbesher argued that there are no records that can indicate the call was made from the workroom phone.

Nathaniel Pearlson from the BCA Bemidji Regional Office took to the witness stand early this afternoon. He gave a Powerpoint presentation showing photos of the crime scene.

There were pictures of the basement that showed blood stains at the bottom of the staircase underneath an area rug that was placed there to cover up the stains.

The bodies were located in the northwestern room of the basement. Photos showed Haile Kiefer laying on top of Nick Brady, who was wrapped in a camouflage tarp. Her stomach was exposed and you could see blood stains on her stomach. Her head was covered by her black “hoodie.” Nick Brady’s body was more covered. They showed a picture of him after Kiefer’s body had been removed from on top of him.

The BCA agent also showed photos laying out where blood stains were and also noted that there were no light bulbs in the light fixture above Smith’s chair that he was sitting in at the time of the shooting.

The two guns used in the shooting deaths were brought into the court room for expert testimony from Pearlson. More photos of Brady and Kiefer’s bodies were shown to the jury to lay out the scene. The prosecutor had no further questions.

The judge decided to recess early for the day due to the equipment set up needs by the defense. The jury will reconvene tomorrow morning and start with the defense’s cross-examination.

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Ashli Gerdes, WJON News

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