MISSOULA, Montana – Police officers who found a German high school exchange student wounded but still alive after being shot by a Montana man are to resume testifying Monday in the man's murder trial in Missoula.
Markus Kaarma, 30, is charged with baiting 17-year-old Diren Dede into sneaking into Kaarma's darkened garage early April 27 and killing him with four shotgun blasts. Kaarma insists he feared for his life and didn't know if the intruder was armed.
Testimony by prosecution witnesses last week suggested Kaarma was on edge and exhibiting erratic behavior due to recent burglaries of his and other Missoula homes.
A lawn care worker testified Friday that Kaarma pointed a shotgun at him four days before Dede's shooting. Michael McMillan said when he came to Kaarma's home April 23 to spray for insects, an angry Kaarma came to the front door naked, pointed a shotgun at him and asked what he was doing there.
"I was scared, frozen," McMillan said.
Three women who work at a hair care shop testified that they heard Kaarma say that same day that he had been waiting up nights to shoot an intruder. A college student at the shop said he also overheard Kaarma talk about shooting burglars.
Kaarma shot and killed Dede after being alerted by a motion detector in his garage, which was left partially open with a purse deliberately placed inside. Defense attorneys argue Montana's "stand your ground" law allows people to use deadly force when they believe they are going to be harmed.
Kaarma's girlfriend, Janelle Pflager, said in a 911 call played for jurors Friday that Dede was lying face down and "barely breathing" after Kaarma shot him. She said Kaarma did not help her as she tried to aid the mortally wounded student, who died later at a Missoula hospital.
Jurors also heard audio tapes of Pflager talking with police after the shooting. She told officers Dede had pleaded for his life, saying, "No, no, no, no, please!"