Outside lawyers to help prosecute Minn. homeowner

Published On: Dec 31 2012 04:22:59 PM CST
LITTLE FALLS, Minn. (AP) -

Local prosecutors will get help prosecuting the man accused of killing two teenagers who broke into his home near Little Falls on Thanksgiving.

Morrison County Attorney Brian Middendorf said Monday that Washington County Attorney Pete Orput and an assistant will help prosecute Byron Smith.

Smith is charged with two counts of second-degree murder in the shooting deaths of Haile Kifer, 18, and Nick Brady, 17.

Middendorf previously asked the Minnesota attorney general's office for help and was rejected. He said his office was stretched thin by an unusually high number of recent serious cases.

Orput has been Washington County attorney since 2011. He has more than 24 years of experience as a prosecutor.

The St. Cloud Times reports Smith's next court appearance is scheduled Jan. 22.