Created: 01/24/2014 9:52 AM WDIO.com
LITTLE FALLS, Minn. (AP) - A Minnesota homeowner accused of fatally shooting two teenagers breaking into his house has pleaded not guilty.
Byron Smith faces two counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of Haile Kifer and Nicholas Brady.
Smith's attorney, Steven Meshbesher, said he doesn't want Thursday's plea to be interpreted as a waiver against a pending petition to the Minnesota Supreme Court.
Meshbesher wants the high court to review a Morrison County judge's denial of a defense motion to overturn the grand jury's indictment against Smith.
Smith is accused of killing the unarmed cousins after they broke into his house north of Little Falls on Thanksgiving Day 2012.
The Brainerd Dispatch reports jury selection for Smith's trial is expected to begin April 14. A pretrial hearing is set for March 25.
Information from: The Daily Dispatch
(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
Superior Police: Officer's Use of Force Justified
The Superior Police Department says an internal investigation has found an officer's use of force was justified in an arrest seen on a controversial dashcam video. However, the officer was given a 10-hour unpaid suspension for "vulgar and unprofessional" communication during the arrest.
Johnston Investigation Concludes Five Allegations Substantiated
An investigation into allegations that a Duluth school board member threatened the district's superintendent and other board members concludes that five of six claims are warranted. A 67-page report details the allegations against school board member Art Johnston released to Eyewitness News on Friday.
Denfeld High School Debuts In-School Food Pantry, Clothes Closet
A new program at Denfeld High School in Duluth aimed at making sure students don't go hungry or without clothes, made its debut on Friday. The Hunter Hut food pantry and clothes closet is the first of its kind in an eight-county radius because it gives students the chance to shop for free groceries and clothing right at school....
Rice Lake Township Makes Moves To Become a City
After the City of Duluth brought up the idea of annexing Rice Lake Township, township leaders are continuing their efforts to turn the township into a city.
Washburn Co. Sheriff: Concrete Damaging Tires on Hwy. 53
The Washburn County Sheriff's Office says five vehicles have suffered tire and wheel damage due to concrete problems on U.S. Highway 53. Sheriff Terry Dryden said county highway workers are checking to see what can be done.