Court News

May 21, 2014 12:41 PM by KPAX News

Not guilty plea entered in Missoula exchange student death

MISSOULA - The man who's been charged with deliberate homicide in the April 27 shooting death of German exchange student Diren Dede pleaded not guilty during a Wednesday morning appearance in Missoula District Court.

Judge Ed McLean ordered that Kaarma turn over his passport and not possess any guns. Bail for Kaarma remains at $30,000, although prosecutors can request a bond hearing if they want to raise the amount.

Markus Kaarma is accused of killing Dede who was in the garage of his Grant Creek area home, apparently "garage hopping," and possibly looking for alcohol.

Kaarma has told authorities he was "full out panicked" by the situation, and that he fired blindly into his garage out of fear. He said it took one or two seconds to fire all four shots.

An autopsy report showed Dede was shot twice, and that a wound to the head was fatal.
Prosecutors also said Wednesday that they are not charging Kaarma's wife in connection with the deadly shooting.

The death sparked an international outcry with media from Germany descending on Missoula to follow the case.

The German government has said that they could prosecute Kaarma in connection with the shooting.

The German consul general in San Francisco sent a letter to Gov. Steve Bullock stating that he has confidence in the ability of Missoula authorities to prosecute Kaarma under Montana laws, but he also suggested Missoula authorities may not have the final word.

"You might find it useful to know that German penal law also applies for crimes committed against German nationals abroad, enabling German state prosecutors to open investigations in such cases," Consul General Peter Rothen wrote April 30.

We have full coverage of today's developments during the Wednesday 5:30 News on the Montana Television Network.

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