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Little Falls Man Charged With First Degree Murder

04/26/2013 - 9:15 AM

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MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - A Minnesota man accused of killing two teenagers who broke into his home last year has been charged with first-degree murder.

A grand jury indicted Byron Smith under seal Wednesday on two counts of first-degree murder with premeditation. The new charges were announced Thursday. The 64-year-old Smith initially was charged with two counts of second-degree murder in the November deaths of 17-year-old Nick Brady and 18-year-old Haile Kifer.

In Minnesota, a first-degree murder charge must be issued by grand jury indictment. If convicted, Smith faces a mandatory penalty of life in prison without parole. Prosecutors say Smith shot the teens multiple times and left their bodies in his Little Falls house for a day before authorities were notified.

One of Smith's attorneys, Adam Johnson, says Smith was acting in self-defense.

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