By Lori Grannis
MISSOULA, Montana (Reuters) – A Montana man who shot and killed a German exchange student last month is set to be arraigned before a district court on Wednesday morning.
Missoula homeowner Markus Kaarma, 29, is charged with deliberate homicide in last month’s slaying of 17-year-old Diren Dede of Hamburg in a high-profile case that is expected to test Montana’s version of the “castle doctrine” self-defense law.
Defense attorney Paul Ryan has said Kaarma will plead not guilty by invoking a defense in line with Montana’s version of the ‘castle doctrine,’ which allows homeowners to exercise force if there is reasonable belief of impending harm or a threat to life.
According to court documents, Dede was visiting Montana for a single school term and staying with a host family two houses away. A witness said he entered Kaarma’s open garage as part of a popular local high school prank called “garage hopping,” and was unarmed.
Kaarma, a former U.S. Forest Service firefighter whose house had recently been burglarized, was alerted to Dede’s presence by motion sensors and a video monitor installed after the burglaries.
Prosecutors say he walked outside and fired a shotgun into his darkened garage, killing Dede.
Attorney Ryan said last week that a 2009 amendment to the law shifts the burden of proof from homeowners to prosecutors as to whether a homeowner was in fear for his life when exercising lethal force.
(Editing by Chris Michaud)
[A smoking 12 bore shotgun having ejected spent a cartridge by Max Earey via Shutterstock]
So long, Steve King: 9-term white supremacist GOP congressman from Iowa loses primary
U.S. Congressman Steve King, a nine-term Republican of Iowa, has just lost his primary to a GOP challenger. It's a huge fall from grace: In 2014 The Des Moines Register labeled the former earth-moving company founder a "presidential kingmaker."
But his racist, white nationalist, white supremacist, anti-immigrant, anti-Semitic, homophobic, transphobic, biphobic remarks and disturbing ties to far right radical European politicians – including one he endorsed who has ties to a neo-Nazi, finally caught up with him.
When the president’s son-in-law truly was a great success
For many Americans, the idea of the president tasking his son-in-law with solving national, even international, crises, seems problematic, if not absurd. But it happened once before and turned out to be the kind of “great success story” our current first family wants us to believe in again. Slightly over a century ago, as the US mobilized for the First World War, the nation faced devastating breakdowns of its financial and transport systems. In response, President Woodrow Wilson leaned heavily on his talented and experienced Treasury Secretary, William McAdoo, who just happened to be his son-in-law. Looking back at this episode tells us a lot about what makes for successful emergency management at the highest levels of government.
Here are 7 ways Donald Trump is just like Henry Ford — and why that’s not good for American democracy
On May 21, speaking at the Ford Motor Company’s Rawsonville plant in Ypsilanti, Michigan, Donald Trump paid his latest homage to Henry Ford, lauding the family’s “good bloodlines” with Ford’s great grandson sitting in the front row.
Ford, like Trump, was obsessed with bloodlines—with the idea that race and genetic origins determined who counted as the “best people.”