MISSOULA, Montana (AP) – A Montana man prosecutors say shot and killed a German exchange student in his garage is scheduled to go to trial this week in a case that centers on whether he justifiably feared another home invasion after recently being burglarised.
Markus Kaarma has pleaded not guilty to deliberate homicide in the April 27 death of Diren Dede, 17, of Hamburg. Jury selection is set to begin Monday, followed by arguments as early as Tuesday, the Missoulian newspaper reported.
Defence attorneys argue that Kaarma was protecting his home and family when he fired the shots into his garage. However, prosecutors say Kaarma deliberately tried to lure the victim into his dark garage by leaving a purse out and keeping the garage doors partially open.
Prosecutors say Kaarma was frustrated by recent burglaries at his house and set up motion sensors and video cameras to catch the thieves.
The night of the shooting, prosecutors claim, Kaarma was watching a video monitor and saw a dark figure in his garage.
They say he grabbed his shotgun, exited the front door, turned to face the partially open garage door and fired four shots into the darkness.