The Free Press, Mankato, MN

State, national news

February 6, 2013

Teenager charged in burglaries of man who shot teens

LITTLE FALLS — A Little Falls teenager has been charged with burglarizing the home of a man in the months before he allegedly shot and killed two other teens who broke into his house.

Seventeen-year-old Cody Kasper was charged Tuesday in connection with two burglaries at the home of Byron Smith.

The 64-year-old Smith is charged in the Thanksgiving Day slayings of 17-year-old Nick Brady and 18-year-old Haile Kifer.

Smith's attorney, Steve Meshbesher, says Kasper and Brady worked on Smith's property last summer. Meshbesher tells the Star Tribune (http://bit.ly/X1gYg8 ) the charges against Kasper show Smith had been victimized in the months before the shootings. Meshbesher says Smith was scared.

Washington County Attorney Pete Orput is prosecuting Smith's case. He says Smith is using the prior burglaries as an excuse for murder.

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