UPDATE: Medical Examiner Takes The Stand In Byron Smith Murder Trial [VIDEO]
LITTLE FALLS - Testimony continues today (Thursday) in the Byron Smith murder trial in Little Falls.
The jury in the Byron Smith murder trial was shown autopsy photos of Nick Brady and Haile Kiefer this morning (Thursday). The courtroom heard Ramsey County Medical Examiner, Kelly Mills testify about her autopsy findings. She showed a slide show of the photos from the autopsy of Brady and Kiefer. Smith sat motionless as he viewed the autopsy photos.
Brady had three gunshot wounds. Mills determined that the fatal shot was the last shot fired into the temple at close range no more than two to three feet away from him. His toxicology testing came back negative for both drugs and alcohol. His manner of death was homicide from multiple gunshot wounds.
Haile Kifer was examined and photos were shown of her autopsy. She was shot six times. Her fatal shot was the one that entered her left ear. It was fired at close range from the 22 caliber revolver. The toxicology test was negative for alcohol, but positive for marijuana and a type of over the counter cough medicine.
Her cause of death was homicide by multiple gunshot wounds. The medical examiner determined that a shot below her left ear was the fatal round. However, it was possible that after the fatal shot, she could still have had reflex breaths. It calls into question whether the final shot under her chin was done after she was already dead.
Both Kiefer and Brady were wearing gloves that day. Pictures show their hands wrapped in paper bags to preserve evidence including gunshot residue.
The defense cross-examined Ramsey County Medical Examiner Kelly Mills. During her testimony she said that it was possible Brady was conscious and could move his body after sustaining the first two gunshots.
Mills said that there are records of people getting shot in the heart and still being able to run a city block. The defense questioned the contact from the muzzle of the gun to Brady’s body. Mills says she has evidence that the muzzle of the gun did not have direct contact with Brady’s body.
The defense questioned Mills on her knowledge of breathing patterns of dead people. Mills testified that she has witnessed dead people making what she calls, “gargling” sounds when being moved. She said it was possible that Byron Smith heard breathing sounds after Kiefer died.
The defense also noted that there were 66 cuts on Kiefer’s body. The medical examiner said that the cuts on Kiefer’s body were all in different stages of healing. Mills said it is possible that the cuts were self inflicted.
Mills also stated that marijuana and 1,300 nanograms per milliliter of dextromethorpan were found in Kiefer’s urine. Dextromethorpan is a cough suppressant that can be bought over the counter. Mills said it is possible that Kiefer was abusing the cough suppressant based on her toxicology results. Mills testified that Kiefer was intoxicated at the time of her death.
Brady’s toxicology report was negative for drugs and alcohol. The defense questioned why the report didn’t include a negative result for dextromethorpan in Brady’s system. It made no mention of it at all. It led to speculation by the defense that Brady wasn’t tested for it.
The state has rested their case. The defense will be calling in their first witness.