Neighbor: Minnesota man fearful after burglaries

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LITTLE FALLS, Minn. (AP) — Defense witnesses say a Minnesota man on trial for fatally shooting two teenagers who broke into his home was fearful after a rash of break-ins.

Sixty-five-year-old Byron Smith of Little Falls faces first-degree murder charges in the deaths of 18-year-old Haile (HAY’-lee) Kifer and 17-year-old Nick Brady. Smith claims he was defending himself with the teens broke in on Thanksgiving Day of 2012.

About a month before the shootings, neighbor William Anderson testified that Smith came to his door after a burglary and appeared “severely” frightened. The Star Tribune reports Anderson testified that Smith told him that burglary was “number five or six.”

The day after the shootings, Smith called Anderson, asking him to find him a lawyer. Anderson then alerted authorities.

Prosecutors contend Smith planned the killings. Closing arguments are expected early next week.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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