Wednesday, May 14, 2014

The Fatal Shooting of Diren Dede, a German Exchange Student / Missoula, Montana (Part 2)

The more I think about this case, the more disgusted I become.  This death was so needless and tragic.

I don’t think the forensic tests are back, but almost certainly Markus Kaarma’s judgment was affected by his use of illegal drugs.  If that is not the case, this man has some serious mental issues.  Most likely, it is both.

Marijuana is known to magnify character flaws (admittedly this is also true of alcohol).

If you read the prosecutor’s affidavit in support of 'probable cause,' you will note that Kaarma had previously boasted to others about waiting to kill the person or persons who had earlier burglarized his garage.  Basically, Kaarma set a trap.  There is no excusing his conduct.  His actions were undoubtedly a crime.

Affidavit / Relevant

This case reminds me of the hypothetical situation, sometimes discussed in law enforcement seminars, wherein a homeowner has rigged a tripwire to a shotgun.  When an unknown person enters the room, he trips the wire and the shotgun fires.  Fact, the homeowner is not at home at the time.  What if the person killed is actually a burglar?  What if the person killed is the homeowner’s son returning, unexpectedly, from college?  This scenario often creates a lively debate.  Is it legal to set a lethal trap within your own home?  Is the death of a burglar less serious than the death of the homeowner’s son?  Is it a crime?  Yes.

We cannot totally excuse Diren Dede that night.  Diren made a terrible mistake that cost him his life.  The other boy, who waited along the street for Diren, was also an exchange student at the high school.  That boy was from Ecuador.  The police interviewed the boy concerning his involvement and found no immediate reason to hold him.  And, as a result, he has since left the United States.  I suppose that was a smart move on his part; but it could become a legal issue at trial.  He was, after all, a principal witness, even a possible co-conspirator in a crime.

What about the high school’s responsibility?  I suppose it goes without saying that you shouldn’t be out stealing from the local residents.  But, what kind of briefing are these teenagers given upon their arrival in the U.S.?

What about self-defense or the ‘castle doctrine?’  Not relevant under the described circumstances – at best a mitigating factor, but doubtful.  The defense attorney will attempt to use self-defense arguments, but it won’t work.

Interestingly, two individuals have been recently arrested by the Missoula PD for the previous two burglaries at Kaarma's residence.  One is an 18 year old, Tristan Stabler, and the other is a juvenile.  Reportedly, during the first burglary, these two cleaned-out Kaarma's stash of marijuana.  During the second burglary, they took a wallet and an iPhone.

The information now available was that Diren and another boy (referenced above) named Robby Pazino were walking in the neighborhood.  Inexplicably, according to Pazino, Diren decided to enter the open garage.  Diren didn't say what he planned to do, but Pazino suspected that Diren was after beer.

True Nelson
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