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Smith did not testify on his own behalf. Meshbesher highlighted previous burglaries on Smith’s property, including one on Oct. 27 that included the theft of weapons. A neighbor testified that Smith came to his door after that burglary and appeared very frightened. Meshbesher also said Smith wrote a memo to the Morrison County Sheriff’s Office on Oct. 29 asking them to investigate.

During closing arguments, Meshbesher said teens would still be alive if they hadn’t broken into Smith’s house.

Kifer was a senior who was active in athletics at Little Falls High School. Brady was a student and a wrestler at that school before transferring to nearby Pillager High School, where he was a junior. They were cousins.

Judge Douglas Anderson excluded evidence about the teens’ histories from the trial as irrelevant, including court documents that showed Brady had broken into Smith’s house and garage before. Brady and Kifer were also linked to another burglary the day before they were killed; stolen prescription drugs were found in the car they were driving.