Minn. man gets most severe charge in teens' deaths

Published On: Apr 25 2013 04:28:51 PM CDT
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -

A Minnesota man accused of killing two teenagers who broke into his home last year has been charged with first-degree murder.

A grand jury indicted Byron Smith under seal Wednesday on two counts of first-degree murder with premeditation. The new charges were announced Thursday.

The 64-year-old Smith initially was charged with two counts of second-degree murder in the November deaths of 17-year-old Nick Brady and 18-year-old Haile Kifer.

In Minnesota, a first-degree murder charge must be issued by grand jury indictment.

If convicted, Smith faces a mandatory penalty of life in prison without parole.

Prosecutors say Smith shot the teens multiple times and left their bodies in his Little Falls house for a day before authorities were notified.

One of Smith's attorneys, Adam Johnson, says Smith was acting in self-defense.