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Star Tribune seeks explanation for courtroom closure during Little Falls trial


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.

Defense attorney Steve Meshbesher tells the Star Tribune ( ) he objected to the closing at the time.

In its filing, the Star Tribune says the public and the press have "significant interests" in keeping courtrooms open.

Information from: Star Tribune,

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