Man Pleads Not Guilty in Exchange Student’s Death

By Beacon Staff

MISSOULA — A 29-year-old Montana man charged with shooting a German exchange student in his garage has pleaded not guilty to deliberate homicide.

Markus Kaarma of Missoula was arraigned Wednesday in the April 27 death of 17-year-old Diren Dede.

Prosecutors asked District Judge Ed McLean to increase Kaarma’s bond, but the judge kept it at $30,000 after confirming the defendant surrendered his firearms. McLean asked Kaarma, who has posted bond, to turn over his passport.

Prosecutors allege Kaarma and his girlfriend were frustrated over recent burglaries and set up motion sensors and video cameras to try to catch the thieves. Charging documents say Kaarma fired four shots into the garage after they spotted a trespasser. Dede was hit in the head and arm.

Kaarma has said he feared for his life and was defending his property.

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