Dec 8, 2014 1:50 PM
Prosecutors: Bullets shot at student also hit home
The Associated Press
MISSOULA, Mont. (AP) Prosecutors showed jurors video of multiple bullet holes in the home where a Montana man shot and killed a German high school exchange student, including one that hit a bottle of cooking oil in the kitchen pantry.
Markus Kaarma's baby was inside the home at the time. Prosecutors are trying to prove that Kaarma, 30, was behaving erratically when he allegedly laid a trap for teens he thought were burglarizing his home. A motion sensor he had set up went off, and Kaarma went out his front door and shot 17-year-old Diren Dede in the garage.
Defense attorneys argue Montana's "stand your ground" law allowed Kaarma to use deadly force to defend his home in the April 27 incident. Kaarma insists he feared for his life and didn't know if the intruder was armed.
Dede's mother, Gulcin Dede, left the courtroom visibly upset Monday morning as the police video of the scene showed drops of blood in the driveway and a piece of Dede's clothing on the ground. She could be heard sobbing even after she left the courtroom.
Missoula Police Sgt. Michael Hebert, who was in charge at the scene in the first two hours after the shooting, was questioned Monday about his experience with homicide cases. He said he had only responded to one homicide in Missoula in about 10 years and that it wasn't a case in which someone was claiming self-defense.
Missoula police detective Mitchell Lang, a former U.S. Marine who's worked with the department for more than five years, was called to the home to collect evidence. He testified Monday about the video and still photos he took that showed among other items a blood-stained vehicle in the garage, the shotgun with a live round still inside and the four shotgun shells fired early that morning and the damage caused by them throughout the first floor of the home.
Testimony by prosecution witnesses last week suggested Kaarma was on edge at the time of the shooting and exhibited erratic behavior due to recent burglaries of his and other Missoula homes.
Trial is scheduled to continue through Dec. 19. An unspecified incident with the jury also delayed testimony Monday morning as judge spoke to each juror briefly one-on-one in his chambers.