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Burglar-killer Byron Smith ‘guilty’ verdict: the reaction

Donald Sterling talks to Glen Taylor; the ‘Amy Senser’ bill; Minneapolis taxi-deregulation?; and more.

Following the “guilty” verdict in the Byron Smith case, Pam Louwagie of the Strib reports, “Efforts were made to obfuscate what this was and turn it into some type of referendum about being able to protect one’s home, [prosecutor Pete] Orput said. ‘This was a case about where the limits are,’ Sheriff Michel Wetzel said in news conference after the verdicts.”

For the Brainerd Dispatch, Sarah Nelson Katzenberger provides a long recap of the closing arguments. “… state prosecutor Pete Orput told the jury the case is ‘a serious, but very simple case.’ … Orput said the shooting deaths of Brady and Kifer were intentional and done with premeditation — that Smith planned, prepared, determined and considered what he was doing before he did.”

Dave Unze in the St. Cloud Times writes, “Defense attorney Steve Meshbesher said Smith would appeal the case. One focus of that appeal will be how much the jury didn’t get to hear about Kifer and Brady, he said. Meshbesher had tried to present evidence to the jury about their involvement in other crimes, and photos of Brady on his Facebook page holding firearms. But Judge Douglas Anderson ruled before the trial that such evidence was not admissible, a decision with which Meshbesher clearly disagreed.” 

The Daily Mail of Britain knows how to goose a story. Laura Collins tells her readers, “Now, for the first time, MailOnline can reveal the story the jury DIDN’T hear, the history suppressed by the prosecution and the truth behind the hideous explosion of violence in Smith’s Little Falls home that Thanksgiving morning. Because though the prosecution argued that Smith did not know whom he was pulling the trigger on that day, he did know both his teenage victims. And it was that prior relationship that sparked the fatal sequence of events when it went sour five months earlier in the summer of 2012.”

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The Strib was ready with an editorial. “For many who followed the case, the recordings provided all of the evidence necessary to conclude that Smith had planned the execution-style killings in retribution for the break-ins. … For obvious reasons, there are limits to the ‘castle doctrine,’ and Smith crossed the line between a reasonable self-defense and premeditated murder. It took the jury just three hours to return the verdict.”

Glen Taylor is on board with the lifetime ban on Donald Sterling. Says Laura Yuen at MPR, “Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor said he backs the decision by NBA Commissioner Adam Silver to ban Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling from the organization for life for making racist remarks. … As chairman of the NBA’s Board of Governors, Taylor said he will head a committee that is already working to change the team’s ownership to another party, possibly by force.”

The Strib’s Jerry Zgoda notes Taylor to talked to Sterling, who argued he’d been taped illegally in a private discussion. The Strib’s Patrick Reusse has an upbeat take, noting society’s evolution from the brush-off of Calvin Griffith’s racist remarks in Waseca 36 years ago to Sterling’s lifetime ban today.

The GleanToday in roads, Part One: The PiPress says, “If Minnesota drivers hit something, they would be required to stop and investigate what they hit under a bill passed Tuesday by the House. The measure, sent to Gov. Mark Dayton on a 124-3 vote, would make it clear that ‘not knowing what was struck’ is no longer a legal defense for those accused of a hit-and-run collision, the bill’s sponsor, DFL Rep. Paul Rosenthal … . The vote came one week after Amy Senser, the wife of former Minnesota Viking Joe Senser, was released from prison … .”

Today in Roads, Part Two: Mary Divine of the PiPress says, “As part of the massive reconstruction of Minnesota 36 next to the new St. Croix River bridge, the right-on, right-off access road about a quarter-mile west of Osgood Avenue would be closed. Minnesota Transportation Department officials said the closure has been planned for the roadway since 1995 in line with its practice of trying to consolidate access to highway corridors. But [Joseph’s Restaurant of Stillwater owner Joe] Kohler and other business owners are hoping to change the mind of MnDOT project manager Jon Chiglo.”

Today in Roads, Part Three: The Strib’s Eric Roper on the ongoing battle between Minneapolis cabbies and appsters Lyft and Uber. Basically, the hacks say the hackers face far less onerous regulation and fees. An intriguing development: City Council Member Jacob Frey says the solution may be reducing regulations on the cabbies.

Take one blonde, add an adult beverage, som un-ladylike language and a playoff hockey game and you’ve got … viral video. Via Bleacher Report… from the Wild v. Avs Game 6. The copy believes the not-exactly shy darling in question is saying, “Whip his ass, Charlie!” to Wild center Charlie Coyle. “The Lady in Pink” was born. “As it turns out, the fan in question appears to be a woman named Alyssa Nelson. Judging by her Twitter profile, she is a Hooters waitress and the biggest Minnesota Wild fan imaginable.” Game 7 is tonight in Denver.