Jury seated in trial over exchange student's death

AP News
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Posted: Dec 02, 2014 5:26 PM
Jury seated in trial over exchange student's death

MISSOULA, Mont. (AP) — A jury was seated Tuesday in the case of a Montana man accused of shooting and killing a German exchange student in the defendant's garage.

Markus Kaarma of Missoula is charged with deliberate homicide in the April 27 death of 17-year-old Diren Dede of Hamburg.

The jury includes eight men and four women. Two men and a woman were chosen as alternates.

Missoula District Judge Ed McLean told the jurors to refrain from discussing the case with friends and family and to stay away from media coverage, the Missoulian reported.

"We have to make certain that Mr. Kaarma gets his fair day in court," McLean said.

Missoula authorities increased courtroom security in anticipation of a large crowd and because of the international attention the case is receiving, KECI-TV reported.

A metal detector will be in operation outside the courtroom and additional law enforcement officers will be in the room.

Prosecutors say Kaarma deliberately tried to lure a victim into his dark garage by leaving out a purse and keeping the garage door partially open.

He was frustrated by recent burglaries at his house and had set up motion sensors and video cameras on his property, according to court documents.

Defense attorneys argue that Kaarma had been terrorized by recent burglaries and was protecting his home and family when he fired four shots into his garage.

Dede was hit in the head and arm. He died at a Missoula hospital, court records said.

Opening arguments are scheduled Thursday. McLean heard arguments Tuesday from attorneys on several motions related to the case.

Dede's parents, Celal and Gulcin Dede, were in the courtroom accompanied by German attorneys Andreas Thiel and Bernhard Docke.

Docke told the Missoulian he doesn't know if the family will file a lawsuit against Kaarma but said his actions, based on what has been reported, would not be considered self-defense in Germany.