Kaarma Pleads Not Guilty to Deliberate Homicide - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Kaarma Pleads Not Guilty to Deliberate Homicide

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The man accused of shooting and killing a German foreign exchange student last month pleads not guilty to deliberate homicide.

Markus Kaarma appeared in Missoula County District Court on Wednesday morning for his arraignment.

The deliberate homicide charge stems from an incident on April 27, when Kaarma allegedly shot and killed 17-year-old German foreign exchange student Diren Dede.

Court documents show Dede was apparently searching for alcohol in Kaarma's garage.

After Kaarma entered his plea, prosecutors requested his bail be reset to $500,000, after he posted a $30,000 bond at his initial appearance in Justice Court.

Andrew Paul, the Missoula Deputy County Attorney, said, "Many of the neighbors have contacted our office, and have expressed serious concerns about neighborhood safety, they are scared of him."

Kaarma's defense attorneys countered, saying the County Attorney's office was simply reacting to the public's outcry surrounding the case.

Brian Smith, Kaarma's Defense Attorney, said, "Those people in that neighborhood have nothing to fear from Markus, he is not dangerous."

Judge Ed McLean honored the original bail amount, meaning Kaarma remains out of jail.

Kaarma's primary defense attorney, Paul Ryan, said Kaarma and his wife, Janelle Pflager have felt trapped in their own home.

"Well, they're doing the best they can, this is difficult on them as well, and I think they're maintaining to the best of their ability to keep their family unit together," Ryan said.

In court documents, prosecutors said Kaarma and Pflager were attempting to lure burglars into their garage after it was burglarized in the weeks before the night of the shooting.

Kaarma's defense attorneys maintain Kaarma was defending his family and home.

They said there is no indication Janelle Pflager will face charges.

Kaarma's next court appearance is set for June 25.



After an initial appearance in court, the man charged with shooting German foreign exchange student Diren Dede pleads not guilty to deliberate homicide.

Prosecutors requested Markus Kaarma's bail be reset to $500,000 saying he is a danger to the community. The prosecution cited reports they have received from Kaarma's neighbors saying they were afraid of him. Judge McLean denied the request, honoring the $30,000 bail set by the lower court. 

Kaarma's next court appearance is set for June 25.

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