MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to take up the appeal of a Minnesota man serving two life sentences for killing two teenage burglars.

Attorneys for Byron Smith, of Little Falls, said in a release Monday that their petition to have the high court hear the case was denied following four conferences by justices.

Smith's lawyers have argued through the appeal process that the courtroom was improperly closed to discuss the admissibility of witnesses, depriving Smith of his right to a public trial.

Smith was convicted of first-degree premeditated murder in the Thanksgiving Day 2012 shootings of 18-year-old Haile Kifer and her 17-year-old cousin, Nick Brady.

Smith said the shootings were in self-defense.

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