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Minn. man wanted to catch burglars himself

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Apr 25, 2014 at 2:28 pm

LITTLE FALLS, Minn. (AP) — A sheriff's deputy testifying in the trial of a Minnesota man who killed two teens when they broke into his home says Byron Smith wanted to catch the people who had been burglarizing him.

Morrison County Sheriff's Deputy Jamie Luberts testified Friday that he told Smith if he happened to catch anyone, he should call authorities immediately, the Star Tribune reported.

Weeks later, the 65-year-old Smith shot 18-year-old Haile Kifer and 17-year-old Nick Brady. He is on trial on first-degree premeditated murder charges, but claims it was self-defense.

Sheriff Michel Wetzel also testified Friday about a gun that had been taken from Smith's residence in a prior burglary. Defense attorney Steve Meshbesher told reporters outside the courthouse that Smith feared his own gun would be used against him.

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