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Kaarma Attorney – Garage Door Opened to Ventilate Smoke – Not to Lure Intruder [AUDIO] [DOCUMENT]

Markus Kaarma
photo by Peter Christian

The Markus Kaarma deliberate homicide case has been bound over to district court.

Markus Kaarma Charging Information

The Missoula County Attorney’s Office has released an affidavit that chronicles the actions of those involved in the fatal shooting that occurred just after midnight on April 27. In the court document, Kaarma stated that he and his partner, Janelle Phlager, often left their garage door open to ventilate smoke. Kaarma’s attorney Paul Ryan emphasized this assertion in a Monday, May 12 interview.

“I completely disagree with the characterization that has been made that either Mr. Kaarma or his partner tried to lure anyone in there,” Ryan said. “In fact, they often smoked in the garage, since they have a 10-month old son and they don’t want smoke in the house, so the garage is open a lot. In fact, the two previous times they’d been burglarized, the garage door had been left open. So, they weren’t trying to bait anyone in the first, second or third time they were robbed.”

Ryan also pointed out that Kaarma was not dressed as if he was anticipating an intruder that night.

“He and his partner had been hot-tubbing that evening and he was on the couch just watching a movie,” Ryan said. “He was dressed in pajama bottoms, he didn’t have shoes or socks on, he didn’t have a shirt. So, he wasn’t dressed like someone who was preparing for some sort of ambush.”

Ryan said the date for a district court appearance should be released on Tuesday.

“Once we get that date, we’ll enter a plea of not guilty and will vigorously defend our client in his effort to be exonerated from the specific charge of deliberate homicide,” Ryan said.

The worldwide attention focused on this case has Ryan concerned.

“It’s certainly an interesting aspect of the case, and it’s not one that we welcome,” Ryan said. “It certainly makes everything more complicated for everyone that’s involved, because there’s a lot more attention. There’s a lot of misinformation that’s been floating around that we hope will be cleared up in this process.But, the publicity shouldn’t change anything, we’re here about the facts and getting out the truth, and hopefully the media will report it appropriately.”

Defense Attorney Paul Ryan

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In the court records, Deputy Missoula County Attorney Andrew Paul lays out the timeline of events that night, from the time police arrived, to an interview with Diren Dede’s companion that night, identified as an Ecuadorian exchange student, Robby Pazmino.

Pazmino said the two were bored, and decided to walk around the neighborhood. Dede entered Kaarma’s garage to find something to drink, while Pazmino stayed in the street. When he heard the gunshots, Pazmino ran to the home of their host family, Randy and Kate Walker Smith.

The court records describe the fatal injuries received by Kaarma’s shotgun, who was wounded in the arm and the head.

The court document reiterated Kaarma’s visit to a hair salon where he made angry and profane statements indicating his desire to shoot whoever was robbing him. In addition, detectives interviewed residents in Kaarma’s neighborhood, who stated that they had had encounters with Kaarma that made they feel afraid or uncomfortable, due to his allegedly angry attitude.

Pazmino has since returned to his native country of Ecuador.

Kaarma is free on $30,000 bail and still lives in the residence where the fatal shooting took place. Missoula police have provided extra patrols in the Grant Creek neighborhood since the shooting.

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