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You are here News Domestic (USA) Montana killing: Deadly clash of teenage mischief, pot, and self-defense?

Montana killing: Deadly clash of teenage mischief, pot, and self-defense?

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Montana teen killingNew details in the case of a slain German exchange student suggest that teenage mischief may have played a role in a Montana shooting that has, once again, put US self-defense laws in the international spotlight.

In what’s turned into a peculiar American allegory involving marijuana, enhanced self-defense laws, and suburban crime fears, police say a 29-year-old Forest Service firefighter named Markus Kaarma shot and killed 17-year-old German exchange student Diren Dede on April 27 after the teenager apparently entered Mr. Kaarma’s open garage as part of a “garage-hopping” prank he learned from local Missoula kids, according to what a friend told police.

Kaarma’s live-in girlfriend told neighbors that someone had stolen marijuana from the firefighter’s garage stash on several occasions. Investigators say they removed a glass jar full of pot during the course of their investigation.

The shooting of Diren became an international incident as German diplomatic staff said “what happened [was] completely out of proportion to the probable risk.”

US prosecutors agree, already having charged Kaarma with homicide. An open question is whether a jury will believe police allegations that Kaarma set a trap for Diren by opening the garage door and linking up a baby monitor feed before shooting blindly into the darkened garage after spotting movement.

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