Man appeals homicide conviction in death of exchange student

AP News
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Posted: Dec 29, 2015 11:17 PM

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — A Missoula man serving a 70-year sentence for fatally shooting a German exchange student in his garage is appealing his conviction, arguing jurors weren't properly instructed about justifiable use of force and that pre-trial news coverage biased the jury.

Paul Ryan and Nate Holloway filed the appeal with the Montana Supreme Court on behalf of 31-year-old Markus Kaarma on Monday. Kaarma was convicted last December in the April 2014 death of 17-year-old Diren Dede. Kaarma was sentenced in February after District Judge Ed McLean denied a motion for a new trial.

The attorneys argued McLean also was wrong in failing to remove a juror who said she was more inclined to believe law enforcement testimony, in allowing Kaarma's girlfriend to testify that he'd previously assaulted her and in allowing blood splatter testimony the defense had not been told about.