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Man pleads not guilty in exchange student's death

 

May 21, 2014



MISSOULA (AP) — A Montana man trying to catch the thieves who targeted his house pleaded not guilty Wednesday to deliberately killing a 17-year-old German exchange student who entered his garage, a case that ignited debate about laws allowing people to kill to protect their property.

Markus Kaarma, 29, of Missoula was arraigned in the April 27 death of Diren Dede of Hamburg, Germany, and prosecutors asked District Judge Ed McLean to increase Kaarma's bond to $500,000. Deputy Missoula County Attorney Andrew Paul said Kaarma's neighbors fear him and the investigation into the deadly shooting turned up a pattern of irrational and aggressive behavior.

Defense attorneys argued the neighbors' fears are "not based in logic" but are a result of the public outcry over the case that caused some critics to question a Montana law that allows people to use lethal force to defend themselves or their property.

 

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