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Police: Pot might be factor in exchange student shooting


MISSOULA, Mont. >> Authorities are looking into whether marijuana or alcohol played a role in the case of a Montana homeowner accused of setting a trap and killing a German exchange student in his garage.

A newly published court document reveals Missoula police received a judge's permission to test whether the homeowner was drunk or high when he shot and killed 17-year-old Diren Dede.

Officers found a jar of pot in Markus Kaarma's home the day he shot Dede, a police statement accompanying an April 28 request for a search warrant said. Kaarma also might have had marijuana stolen from his garage in a previous burglary, the document said.

Police believe Kaarma "may have been impaired by alcohol, dangerous drugs, other drugs, intoxicating substances or a combination of the above, at the time of the incident," the statement from Detective Dean Chrestenson said.

District Judge Karen Townsend granted the warrant to draw Kaarma's blood to test whether any traces of intoxicants remained.

Kaarma's attorney, Paul Ryan, did not immediately return a call for comment Tuesday. Ryan has said Kaarma plans to cite Montana's self-defense laws in pleading not guilty to the charge.

Kaarma, 29, is charged with deliberate homicide in the April 27 slaying of Dede, who is from Hamburg. Prosecutors allege Kaarma and his live-in girlfriend set up sensors and a video monitor, then left their garage door open the night of the shooting in Missoula.

Kaarma had been burgled twice before, and he told his hairdresser that he had stayed up for three nights waiting to shoot some kid, prosecutors said.

The search-warrant request says Kaarma's girlfriend, Janelle Pflager, told a neighbor that someone had taken all the marijuana and pot pipes out of the garage in a previous burglary.

Pflager also told the neighbor her husband smokes marijuana in the garage, and police found a glass jar of marijuana in his pantry the day of the shooting, the search warrant said.

The night of the shooting, Kaarma and Pflager heard the sensors trip and saw a figure in the garage on the video monitor, prosecutors said. Kaarma took a shotgun out the front door and fired four shots into the dark garage, hitting Dede.

The boy was unarmed, and authorities have declined to say what he was doing in the garage.

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mcc wrote:
Why is everything blamed on pot now that legalization is coming? Everyone knows pot doesn't make you aggressive.
on May 6,2014 | 12:33PM
BlueDolphin53 wrote:
Maybe because now that pot is becoming legal, there is more emphasis on what it can really do? And the news may not be as benign and some hoped it would be? Just a thought....
on May 6,2014 | 12:55PM
Kalaheo1 wrote:
But if you read the story, it says "Police believe Kaarma "may have been impaired by alcohol, dangerous drugs, other drugs, intoxicating substances or a combination of the above, at the time of the incident."

But weed is the only thing they mention in the headline. It's intetionally misleading and many people who skim headlines will be left with the impression that among "alcohol, dangerous drugs, other drugs, intoxicating substances" that weed was thing that caused him to shoot the guy.

The SA has been doing this a lot lately.

on May 6,2014 | 03:27PM
BlueDolphin53 wrote:
We'll see. The closer pot gets to being legalized, the more info will come out. Maybe it's harmless. Maybe not. It's just amusing to me to see people trying to defend the drug so vehemently.
on May 6,2014 | 07:38PM
8082062424 wrote:
not true. it all depends on the person nature and personality . then add the fact those who want it and can not get it will break the law. it impact everyone different
on May 6,2014 | 02:09PM
BlueDolphin53 wrote:
Not true as far as you know. More facts will emerge. Let's see how open minded the defenders of pot are should these facts prove otherwise.
on May 6,2014 | 07:40PM
BigdogMD wrote:
The guy got stolen from twice before. The fact that it was pot doesn't make it okay. The fact that he was drinking or smoking doesn't preclude him from protecting his home. German dude was back at it, maybe he thought a third time was the charm. He was wrong.
on May 6,2014 | 12:46PM
eoe wrote:
Yes, because theft is a death penalty offense in Murca. Stand Your Ground (TM).
on May 6,2014 | 01:23PM
Kalaheo1 wrote:
If you are going to break into someone's home in the middle of the night, it's reasonable for the home owner to assume that you intend him and his family harm.

I think people should be able to feel safe in their homes at night. How much time are you going to spend determining whether the icehead who broke into your home at 2am is armed or not and intends to harm your family?

on May 6,2014 | 03:32PM
saywhatyouthink wrote:
When you break into someone else's property in the middle of the night, you risk being shot by the property owner. He may not have deserved to die but he should have known he was risking his life with his actions that night.
on May 6,2014 | 07:23PM
juscasting wrote:
So, I have to stay sober every night worrying if some joker enters my house and I give him cracks or blow him to hell and I can get prosecuted for Murder? Wow!
on May 6,2014 | 12:51PM
jmarie wrote:
Those with the most gun's win every time!
on May 6,2014 | 12:59PM
Kalaheo1 wrote:
If he hadn't broken into the guys house to steal his stuff, he'd be alive right now.
on May 6,2014 | 03:33PM
residenttaxpayer wrote:
I imagined that it is not going to easy for the prosecution to get a conviction against Markus Kaarma since some jurors maybe sympathetic since he had been burglarized previously and Diren Dede was burglarizing his residence when he was shot.....
on May 6,2014 | 04:36PM
Ezdeewilly wrote:
I don't believe that pot had nearly as much to do with this as someone entering a garage that did not belong to them.
on May 6,2014 | 07:20PM
saywhatyouthink wrote:
Sounds justified to me, the guy was going to rob him. Doesn't matter what he intended to steal, marijuana has nothing to do with this case.
on May 6,2014 | 07:21PM
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