News / USA

Montana Man Possibly Intoxicated When He Shot, Killed German Teen

FILE - Markus Kaarma at his home in Missoula, Montana.
FILE - Markus Kaarma at his home in Missoula, Montana.
A Montana homeowner may have been high on marijuana or drunk when he shot and a German exchange student in his garage in a case expected to test the state's “stand your ground” self-defense law, prosecutors said in legal documents released on Tuesday.
Markus Kaarma, a 29-year-old U.S. Forest Service firefighter, fired his shotgun into his darkened garage in Missoula, Montana after midnight on April 27, killing 17-year-old Diren Dede, a high school student from Hamburg, Germany, police have said.
Kaarma “may have been impaired by alcohol, dangerous drugs, other drugs, intoxicating substances or a combination of the above at the time of the incident,” a Missoula police detective said in a sworn statement.
Kaarma will plead not guilty at an upcoming arraignment, his lawyer Paul Ryan said.
Kaarma will invoke the state's so-called castle doctrine, which among other things allows the use of force to defend against an invasion of a home or structure if the person inside reasonably believes it is necessary to prevent an assault.
A national debate on the use of force and “stand your ground” laws has raged since the shooting death of unarmed Florida teenager Trayvon Martin by George Zimmerman, who was acquitted of murder in July last year.
A search warrant obtained last month by Missoula police seeking a vial of Kaarma's blood for testing shows authorities suspected Kaarma was high on marijuana or alcohol when he shot and killed Dede.
An earlier authorized search of Kaarma's home revealed a glass jar containing pot. A neighbor told police that Kaarma's wife said he smoked pot in the garage and that marijuana and pipes used to smoke it had been stolen there during a previous burglary, according to legal documents filed by prosecutors.
Kaarma's attorney Ryan declined on Tuesday to comment on those allegations.

Ryan said an exchange student from Ecuador who was at the Kaarma home during the shooting told police that he and Dede were behind a rash of Missoula garage burglaries.
Kaarma feared for his life and for the safety of his wife and their 10-month-old son when a male intruder, later identified as Dede, entered the attached garage and advanced toward the couple's kitchen, Ryan said, adding a security camera taped the intruder.

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Comment Sorting
by: gypsy from: florida
May 08, 2014 11:31 AM
Homeowner was completely justified! Doesn't matter if he was high or drunk. The kid was there to assault his rights. The kid should have weighed the consequences of his illegal actions in an armed society. Maybe if more people knew they would die committing crime there would be less

by: Val from: SC
May 07, 2014 8:09 AM
are all of the news articles going to report that he was "possibly" high on "something" or are the NEWS people going to wait until the FACTS are in to stop "speculating" on this? I thought reporting the news was supposed to be about the facts of the matter and not what reporters THINK or hope may have happened. Seems sensationalized to me. This is rag type journalism and it has no place in our culture.
In Response

by: JD
May 07, 2014 12:58 PM
It would save society a great deal of money if more punks were shot during their disreputable acts.

As to Thugvon being unarmed, if that was the case he would still be alive, his arms were busy pounding George Zimmerman's face and smashing his head on a sidewalk.

And then there is the matter of the Martin Scheme Team using political connections to drive an unjustified prosecution which in turn created a basis for the Scheme Team to shake down the insurance company. Another example of the ghetto lottery, which in the end we all pay for in higher insurance costs.

And last, this case should be about the teen being inside someone's home, not about rather or not the homeowner may have been smoking weed or drinking. It would be foolhardy to give up the advantage of surprise by asking an intruder why they are there. The only reasonable course of action in that situation to to neutralize the threat.
In Response

by: mtclimber from: Montana
May 07, 2014 10:14 AM
This is horrible journalism. Quoting an officer or police report within the article is fine, but the entire tone of this piece, from the headline on down, already strongly implies he was drunk and/or stoned when the truth is, nobody knows that yet. I'm not defending him, and maybe he'll ultimately test positive for all that, but don't post insinuating articles until you know the facts. It's difficult to get strong accusations out of everyone's heads and have rational thinking, even after someone is cleared of those accusations...if it eventually is determined he was clean.
In Response

by: Ben
May 07, 2014 9:50 AM
They are quoting a police detective's sworn statement. Read the article. Seems like fair journalism to me.

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