Star Tribune objects to courtroom closing at trial

Published 9:35 am Wednesday, February 25, 2015

MINNEAPOLIS — The Star Tribune is seeking an explanation for a courtroom closure during last year’s trial of a Little Falls man convicted of killing two teenage intruders.

Minnesota’s largest newspaper asked the state Supreme Court on Monday for permission to file the brief. A Star Tribune attorney wrote that the newspaper would have opposed the courtroom closing on the day of opening statements.

Byron Smith’s case is on appeal while he serves two life sentences for fatally shooting cousins Nicholas Brady and Haile Kifer after they broke into his home on Thanksgiving 2012.

Email newsletter signup

Defense attorney Steve Meshbesher said he objected to the closing at the time.

In its filing, the Star Tribune said the public and the press have “significant interests” in keeping courtrooms open.