Diren Dede

Christopher B. Allen

Markus Kaarma has been sentenced to 70 years in prison on charges of deliberate homicide for killing German exchange student Diren Dede on April 17, 2014.

Judge Ed McLean said "You pose too great a risk to society to be anywhere else but the Montana State Prison." Kaarma will be eligible for parole after 20 years.

We'll have more on this story later today.

Christopher B Allen

A district judge will sentence Markus Kaarma Thursday for the charge of deliberate homicide in the April killing of 17-year-old Diren Dede.

Last December, shackled and wearing an orange prison uniform, Kaarma apologized to the Dede family the day after the verdict was delivered.

“We were so scared. No one was supposed to get hurt or killed. I can’t even imagine the pain you feel," Kaarma said.

More than 30 states have laws that allow people to use deadly force if they have a reasonable fear for their life or property. But this week, a Montana jury said that type of law has its limits, finding a homeowner who shot a teenager in his garage guilty of deliberate homicide.

In the early hours of April 27, a motion detector alerted homeowner Markus Kaarma someone was in the garage of his home in Missoula, Mont. He went outside and almost immediately fired four shotgun blasts, killing 17-year-old Diren Dede, a German exchange student.

Christopher B Allen

The parents of slain 17-year-old German exchange student Diren Dede entered a Missoula County courtroom today to applause from an audience, but they expressed only sadness as they gave emotional statements through an interpreter for a judge to consider during Markus Kaarma’s sentencing on February 11.

On Wednesday, a jury found Kaarma guilty of deliberate homicide in the April 27, killing their son.

The 30-year-old Kaarma, who didn't testify during the murder trial, gave a tearful apology to the family.

Christopher B. Allen

At approximately 1:15 p.m. Wednesday the jury in the Markus Kaarma trial returned a unanimous verdict of guilty of the charge of deliberate homicide brought by Missoula County prosecutors.

MTPR's Christopher Allen was at the courthouse and reports "a mix of cries and smiles" in the courtroom after the verdict was read. 

Sentencing is scheduled for February 11.

Christopher B. Allen

Closing arguments finished today in the murder trial of a Missoula man who shot and killed a German exchange student last April.

Markus Kaarma fired a shotgun four times into his garage, killing 17-year-old Diren Dede.

Kaarma’s defense team said he was simply a scared homeowner defending his family against burglars who had already victimized Kaarma twice. Lead defense attorney Paul Ryan said Montana’s Castle Doctrine gives Kaarma special protection.

Edward O'Brien

Opening arguments began in the Markus Kaarma case today in Missoula. Kaarma’s accused of murdering 17-year-old German exchange student, Diren Dede after the boy entered his garage late on the night of April 27.

The state’s 15-minute opening argument started with Assistant City Attorney Jennifer Clark reenacting a plea from Dede.

“NO NO NO NO PLEASE, that’s what Janelle said Darren was pleading right before he was shot, on April 27th, 2014."

Edward O'Brien

A Missoula District Court Judge denied a motion to move the trial of a man charged with shooting a German exchange student out of Missoula County.

Eighteen-year-old Diren Dede was shot and killed in Markus Kaarma’s garage in April.

KECI-TV reports District Judge Ed McLean ruled Kaarma and his attorney failed to show that news reports about Dede’s death were inflammatory or that they served to create a public reaction that would prevent Kaarma from receiving a fair trial.

Edward O'Brien

Missoula County District Court Judge Ed McLean today laid it out in no uncertain terms  to Markus Kaarma's lead attorney, Paul Ryan:

"I don't want any playing to the public. We have serious business at hand and it's not the time to run  a public relations campaign, so knock it off."

McLean was referring to the announcement that tomorrow morning, in Missoula's Caras Park, Ryan's law firm would host a live screening of the World Cup soccer match between the United States and Germany.

Edward O'Brien

The  Missoula man charged with shooting a German exchange student has pleaded not guilty to deliberate homicide.

Markus Kaarma, 29, was arraigned today in the April 27 death of 17-year-old Diren Dede. 

Prosecutors allege Kaarma and his girlfriend set up motion sensors and video cameras to try to catch the thieves who had recently burglarized their garage.

Kaarma is accused of firing four shots into the garage after they spotted a trespasser.  Dede was hit in the head and arm.

Kaarma has said he feared for his life and was defending his property.