Justified Homicide Or Just Bad Kaarma? Montana Man Accused Of Laying Trap In Killing German Exchange Student

article-2626808-1DCE739600000578-307_306x600I was recently interviewed about the highly troubling case involving the killing of German exchange student Diren Dede (left) in a Montana garage. The shooter was Markus Kaarma who has been charged with deliberate homicide after he allegedly set up a trap for Debe with bait, motion cameras . . . and the state’s castle doctrine law.

article-2626808-1DCE739E00000578-168_634x603Police say that the shooting was premeditated and unnecessary. Kaarma’s garage had been burgled twice because Kaarma and his long-time girlfriend (right) often left the door open to smoke. He had had enough and allegedly told his hairdresser that he was “waiting up nights to shoot some [f******] kid.” He installed motion detectors and a video monitor. He then reportedly left the door open with his wife’s purse inside. Within days, he had his pigeon. He saw Debe on the monitor and raked the dark garage with shotgun fire. Dede, 17, and Ecuadorian foreign exchange student Robby Pazmino were out walking in the Missoula neighborhood when Dede entered entered the garage looking for alcohol.

The Montana law reads:

45-3-103. Use of force in defense of occupied structure.
(1) A person is justified in the use of force or threat to use force against another when and to the extent that the person reasonably believes that the use of force is necessary to prevent or terminate the other person’s unlawful entry into or attack upon an occupied structure.
(2) A person justified in the use of force pursuant to subsection (1) is justified in the use of force likely to cause death or serious bodily harm only if:
(a) the entry is made or attempted and the person reasonably believes that the force is necessary to prevent an assault upon the person or another then in the occupied structure; or
(b) the person reasonably believes that the force is necessary to prevent the commission of a forcible felony in the occupied structure.

History: En. 94-3-103 by Sec. 1, Ch. 513, L. 1973; R.C.M. 1947, 94-3-103; amd. Sec. 1644, Ch. 56, L. 2009; amd. Sec. 4, Ch. 332, L. 2009.

As with many of these laws, Montana Castle Doctrine allows the use of force to “prevent or terminate the other person’s unlawful entry.”

We ironically last discussed the law in another case of an alleged set up involving a husband and the lover of his wife.

As many on this blog know, I have been a vocal critic (if not one of the most vocal critics) against Castle doctrines laws that are often related to SYG legislation. I have written extensively against the Castle Laws currently in place in a majority of states and the SYG laws that extend these laws outside of the home. My argument for years has been that these laws are not necessary and encourage people to use lethal force with often disastrous results.

The common law does not impose a duty to retreat. It preexisted the Stand Your Ground laws in most states — as was discussed in the George Zimmerman case. If it didn’t, hundreds of thousands of cases of self-defense would have had different results after people defended themselves rather than flee. Indeed, this is a point that I often made in opposing these laws: you already have the right to defend yourself and not to retreat. There are slight difference in the jury instruction among the states, including Florida, but the Zimmerman instructions reflected the general common law standard for self-defense and the justified use of force.  If the President was referring to the no duty to retreat rule in his call for reform, he would have to change not the SYG laws but the common law in the majority of states.  This has been a rule either through statute or common law for a long time.  The change would require citizens to retreat or flee when attacked in most cases or lose the defense in the use of lethal force.

As I explained in my interview, the Kaarma case has remarkably close similarities to past controversies. Like the Tom Horn case, the shooter appeared eager to kill. It also bears similarities to the most notorious case involved the shooting of a Japanese student in Baton Rouge. The 16-year-old Japanese exchange student, Yoshihiro Hattori, was looking for a Halloween party and scared the wife of Rodney Peairs when he spoke a strange language and approached the house. Peairs shot him in the chest with a .44 Magnum handgun and was later cleared under a Make My Day law as mistaken defense of his home and self. It perhaps has the closest similarities to the earlier Montana case. All involved easily avoidable killings and two involved shooters who seemed empowered and enabled by the law.

One report says that Kaarma’s live-in girlfriend told neighbors that someone had previously stolen marijuana from the firefighter’s garage. Police Missoula police reportedly found a jar of marijuana in Mr Kaarma’s home the day he shot Dede and 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.” They have taken blood samples pursuant to a court order.

In the end however the prosecutors are facing a law with sweeping protections, even in cases where there is an allegedly premeditated set up. He can still claim that regardless of any temptation created by him, he still had a reasonable belief “that the force is necessary to prevent the commission of a forcible felony in the occupied structure.” That is the problem of abandoning the long-standing common law rule — it removes elements of reasonableness and creates a sweeping immunity issue as the threshold and determinative question.

Source: Daily Mail

106 thoughts on “Justified Homicide Or Just Bad Kaarma? Montana Man Accused Of Laying Trap In Killing German Exchange Student

  1. A “Make my Day Law” actually exists. I feel sick which is far preferable to what Dede feels now. A similar case is in MN where 2 teenagers were deliberately gunned down and killed with a “clean kill shot” in the words of the homeowner.
    This is a sick, sick country and you can thank the Cons for this one.

  2. From the accounts in the press, there is clear evidence of premeditation. If things have been reported accurately, I don’t see how he can escape conviction.

    But it is important to keep in mind that Dede isn’t innocent. The evidence is that he did intend to rob the garage. I don’t feel particular sympathy for him, although I recognize it is a tragedy for his family.

  3. If there is a flaw in the law that allows this type of lying in wait, then it needs to be fixed.

    The point of castle laws is to protect one’s right to defend yourself against intruders without requiring you to retreat, or flee your house. It is my understanding that, without the castle law, you have to prove that you were in imminent danger of harm or murder, and that you could not escape. With a castle law, someone forcibly breaking into your home is enough of a reason to fear for your safety.

    In CA, we routinely have criminals sue homeowners for injuries they sustained during their crime.

    Obviously, we want enough protection for people to be able to protect themselves in their own homes, without shielding people who want to deliberately bait a trap and lie in wait. I recall the case of a man who did a similar thing with teenagers, and when he’d shot them, he continued to shoot them until they died, when by definition, he was in no fear for his own life.

    I am curious – can one of the lawyers on this site tell us if entering an open garage satisfies the requirements of a castle law? Wouldn’t it be considered almost like an attractive nuisance?

    Clearly we need to find the right balance between self defense and giving an opportunity for murder.

  4. Criminals have no guarantee of their safety when they break into a stranger’s home. But a kid strolling into an open garage is a different thing. And if the report is correct, the shooter suspected it was “a kid.”

    This man would rather shoot a kid than close his garage and take reasonable precautions.

    You don’t park your car with the doors unlocked and your purse on your seat if you don’t want to be robbed.

  5. A friend of mine was attending medical school at the Univ of Chicago – at a time when the nearby neighborhood had seen some grizzly break-ins. Coming home late at night after working long hours he realized he didn’t have his door key and not wanting to awaken his wife, he tried to open a window. His wife had a gun next to the bed and came within seconds of shooting him, fortunately recognizing him in time.

  6. Lrobby99: and thank the NRA, too. Behind a lot of these stand your ground bills and backs dems as well as republicans, albeit fewer of the former.

    agreed, a sick country. And how anyone can see this as reasonable belief that the use of force is necessary…reasonable?

  7. This one is a little more extensive if I remember. This guy actually shot them again and killed them after he had first shot and disabled them. I think the cops would have bought the first one, but killing them after shooting them is frowned on in Montana. You have to give them a sporting chance.

  8. An open garage door is no more temptation for theft, than a woman is temptation for rape. Good riddance. One less scumbag.

  9. Come on…. we all knew that some gun nut would WANT to shoot and kill somebody just to see what it felt like…..and this law GIVES them that reason and justification…. This is pretty sick in my opinion…..

  10. EC: The temptation an open garage may present to a stupid kid may not be an excuse for entering but it does indicate that the person entering may be doing so out of opportunity,and is likely to run away rather than use force if they hear noises indicating they have been discovered and are being observed, or see someone with a gun. An issue I see in these cases as well as police shooting cases is the gradual lessening of the burden on the person using force to show that the facts actually created a reasonable belief that force was necessary to avoid harm. We have gotten to the point that the possibility that someone could use force, no matter how small, has become a justification for the use of deadly force.

  11. @Karen S “But a kid strolling into an open garage is a different thing.”

    This wasn’t just an impulsive act when the kid happened to notice an open garage door. The friend with him that night admitted they were, and had been on previous nights, “garage hopping.” http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/05/13/us-usa-montana-shooting-idUSBREA4C0QB20140513

    This doesn’t excuse Kaarma in the least, but as Dan noted, Dede wasn’t some innocent hapless kid in the wrong place at the wrong time like the Japanese kid who accidentally went to the wrong address. Kaarma left the safety of his home while his wife called 911. He could have waited for the police. This wasn’t some isolated Montana ranch. It was a college town with a police force.

  12. What happened to my comment just posted? Am I getting screened? Ask me what day Christ was born and I will tell ya. Where is my comment?

  13. Justagirl, I can’t see you here w/o thinking of our buddy, idealist. I hope all is well w/ your family and those damn Swedes!

  14. Al – a lot would depend on whether you picked the jury the day before or the day after payday. :)

  15. Simms – sounds like you’re right and these teenagers had a history of petty theft. He was not innocent.

    But I also agree that this was a case of lying in wait rather than defending himself against forcible entry.

  16. I have to correct Prof Turley on the Horn case once again. While Horn cited the Castle doctrine law on the phone, he was flat out wrong since it did not apply. The law that did apply made Horn’s actions perfectly legal in every way. I even had a lawyer on this site agree that once he read the applicable statute, I and Horn were correct in the use of deadly force under Texas law.

    I also have to disagree that Horn was eager to kill which he clearly was NOT. In FACT, Horn went beyond the requirements of Texas law in trying to get the two illegals who were making their living as burglars to surrender. The law did not require Horn to confront them and demand that they stop. He could have simply shot them without a word being said. It was the crooks who thought that the stolen goods were worth risking their lives for. They must have thought that they were still in CA where such action would have put Horn in prison. There the law thinks that crooks should not have to fear deadly force when they are committing crimes. THAT is the REAL problem when the law gives crooks a bigger break than law abiding citizens. Since that Is the case in too many states, this is why such laws as stand your ground get passed.

    A word to my fellow Texans, the law only allows you to shoot if the crook still has the stolen goods in his possession. As Johnny Cochran would say, if he drops the loot, you cannot shoot! There was a good incident in Fort Worth where a 50 year old woman who had an Obama sign in her front yard drove home one night and saw three men in her house stealing her stuff. She stayed in her car and called the cops. While waiting for the cops, she saw the burglars coming out of her front door with her stuff. She pulled her pistol out, and killed the first crook with one shot, only wounded the second one who managed to limp away. She shot at and missed the third crook as he dove out a side window. I guess the crooks thought that an Obama sign meant that she is a liberal and would not or could not have a gun and shoot them. She shot them without warning, unlike Horn who gave them a chance to give up. As a long time liberal, I fully support the current Texas law, and I have a number of guns which I will be happy to use in similar cases should some crooks be so stupid as to hit my place.

    The real conflict is between those who feel that deadly force in defense of property is wrong, and those who think it is right. It would be more productive to debate this question than to use various incidents to use to buttress one side or the other.

  17. This is the first I’ve heard about Kaarma having marijauna at his house and maybe even being under the influence. Many (most? all?) stand your ground type laws require that you not be committing a crime (felony?) at the time of your use of deadly force. I’d have to review the Montana law, but Kaarma may not be able to use SYG/Castle Doctrine as a legal defense.

  18. The police around here use ‘bait cars’ all the time. In NYC cops pretend to be sleeping drunks in the subway so people will rob them. What is the difference here. He did not put a gun to the kid’s head to make him go in his garage, and this seems to be a sport among some of the Missoula yutes.

    Waldo – they found marijuana in his house so they are doing drug tests to see if he was under the influence. I do not think you are required to be sober or straight (drug wise) to use the ‘castle defense’ in Montana. I am linking an op-ed from a Missoula paper on the subject which mentions he might have been under the influence.

    http://missoulanews.bigskypress.com/missoula/ready-to-retreat/Content?oid=2047475

  19. Looking at statute, it seems like issue is whether Kaarma reasonably believed that deadly force was necessary to prevent the commission of a forcible felony in the occupied structure. It doesn’t seem to me that stealing something out of a garage left open should be considered to be a “forcible felony” but would need to know Montana law better to render a considered opinion.

    Apart from any legal issues, I really hope the guy gets convicted and spends a long time in jail. I don’t want to encourage killing kids for minor crimes.

  20. justagurl – some people don’t mind being burgled time and again. Some do. This is not killing because he wanted to see what it felt like. This was defending his property for serial thieves.

  21. Waldo – according to the photos, the family kept the garage open about 12 inches. For the kid to get in, he would have to force the door somehow, locked or unlock, I am not sure. On my electric garage if I have the door in the position, you have to use the keypad or force it from the outside.

  22. randyjet:

    “The real conflict is between those who feel that deadly force in defense of property is wrong, and those who think it is right.” That’s a good point. Is deadly force allowed when you are not in fear for your life, but defending property? When you said you would not hesitate to shoot in a similar situation, did you mean the one where the woman shot robbers leaving her house with stolen property, or the Horn case?

    Animals are considered property, too. If someone was stealing or killing a pet or a horse you considered family, would that, too, be considered defending property? There have been grizzly killings of horses around the US as part of an underground horse meat ring. Not to get too graphic, but the horses met a terrible end, right in their stalls.

    I, too, support the second amendment and the right to defend yourself. I would not shoot someone running away with my TV, but I would defend my animals like I would my family. And if I found someone breaking into my home, with my family inside, I don’t know if he could convince me he meant us no harm.

  23. I was robbed while I was home. It affects your sense of safety in your own home for a good long while, even when you didn’t get hurt. It’s just plain scary to find out someone invaded your home.

    It’s the lying in wait and the open garage that I object to, and in other cases, shooting suspects when they are down, and no danger.

  24. Paul – I thought he left his garage wide open, with the purse in plain view for anyone walking by to just reach out and snag it. This sounds like less of a bait, but still a complicated issue.

  25. Karen, I would use deadly force in both those cases since it is perfectly legal and MORAL to do so. In both those cases I would do the same. In Horn’s case he had a chance to confront the crooks and gave them a chance to surrender. I would like to think I would do the same and it was daylight as well. In the case of the woman liberal Obama supporter I would also do the same since she was confronted by three men who could and would overwhelm and probably kill her if she advertised her presence, and it was dark. She would have had no hope of recovering her property had she not shot and tried to kill them. I would hope that I would have been a better shot and nailed all of them, but I can understand her miss of the third crook. I doubt if I could have nailed him either since it was longer range, a side shot and in the dark. It is too bad one more wasn’t killed, but I guess we can be grateful she got at least one dead,

    In the case of the horse killers, one can know that such crooks are armed at least with knives, and I would simply open fire day or night. I would not give them a chance at all to surrender since I would be outnumbered and in grave danger of death from them. Killing such people would be a service to society since they will simply continue their criminal careers and probably wind up killing people in the course of their crimes.

  26. Paul – hahaha! In my community all the people we know are gun owners. You just never hear about break-ins into the home when the owners are there. Usually it’s outbuildings that are hit at night. One would assume that criminals have a sense of self-preservation.

  27. Karen – there seem to be several stories going around. They smoked in the garage, supposedly and left the bottom open to allow the smoke to go out. They had been robbed twice already and it appears that a gang or gangs of thieves were opportunistically targeting garages, etc. This one is likely to get messy by the time it is done.
    Missoula used to be a very Western town and then over the last 15-20 years people from the East and California have moved in yuppifying the community. It is also a university town which just adds to the problems. :)

  28. randyjet – I’m a military brat. My father always counseled us never to trust our safety to a criminal, or give him the chance to rush at us or disarm us. If someone breaks into your house at night, when it can be assumed the family would be home, there is great risk that he means to harm you.

    My father stopped a man who was loudly, forcibly, trying to break into the house in the middle of the night simply by chambering a round. He did not say one word. There was dead silence for a beat, and then a heartfelt, “I’m very sorry, sir. I’ll just be going now,” could be heard through the door.

  29. Paul, I did not know that about the garage. If the kid had to break something get inside the garage, then that would give Kaarma a much stronger legal argument I would think. If it were just a matter of using some amount of force to lift the garage door, however, I wouldn’t think theft of property under those circumstances constitutes a “forcible felony.” Also seems like there might be an issue as to whether the garage was an “occupied structure” under Montana law (maybe depends on whether garage was detached or not?). These are just some musings, and I suspect Montana law provides more clarity on what constitutes “forcible felony” and “occupied structure.”

  30. Hi YOU all… I know Nick, I miss Idealist so much…. :-(
    I hope you are doing well tho Nick….. GREAT to see you here…. :-)

    Hi Annie…. It is MOST lovely to see you again…. I always enjoy reading your posts….

    as for this case….

    The homeowner left the garage door open and his wife’s purse
    in plain view from the street…….

    Now, what if that kid, in his looking for a soda, saw the purse
    and was looking inside to make sure that the female of the house
    was OK, that she had not fallen and injured herself and needed help??? ….. or maybe going to take the purse to the front door????
    Or even put it in her car, so that somebody else would NOT come along and take it…..

    I know we LIKE to assume that ALL people are bad….

    But, fact is… It is a LOT less bad people in the world than GOOD people….

    This guy set the wrong trap…… and potentially killed a kid who maybe was going to help them….

    I know ONE thing for sure, the kid TRESPASSED….. Nothing MORE….
    that is NOT grounds for murder……

    I had my car broken into a few times… 2 times to be exact….

    It NEVER dawned on me to want to kill who ever did it…..

    Yeah, I was mad…. BUT, I also blamed myself…

    WHY would I leave valuable items in my car???
    That is just silly……

    and in my youth…… I knew a LOT of kids who would take things from cars….
    some even vandals…..
    and today, some are lawyers….. and some are doctors…
    and ONE is an ex drug addict who never intended to hurt anybody…..

    Just boys doing stupid stuff…. and they grew out of it to become
    VERY much a part of society…

  31. Justagurl – the boy’s friend admitted they had robbed garages before. Sounds like they fell into the category of boys doing stupid stuff that parents everywhere pray they grow out of.

  32. Ohh…. and one time when I lived in Sacramento…
    I had just moved in with a good friend and I went out to celebrate
    my new home…
    LATE at night I came home after a few drinks….
    what I failed to do was remember my house number….
    It was one of those streets where EVERY house is IDENTICAL….
    I walked into the WRONG house…. OOppsss…..

    I realized it one I get a few steps in….. hehehehehe….
    I quickly and quietly backed out….
    Ohhhh am I ever happy that this neighbor was NOY standing there
    with a gun waiting for me….. :-D

  33. What time did this occur, late at night? An honest person would never go into a stranger’s garage looking for something to steal. Dede made a costly mistake to say the least. Kaarma should be tried for entrapment and premeditated murder. This is coming from a gun owner that doesn’t want more gun laws. In Los Angeles it’s almost impossible to get a concealed carry permit, or to even have a gun in your car.

  34. Bruce – since the police use bait all the time, hard to see entrapment. There was not a big sign that said Steal this.

  35. I think that this homeowner in this case could have pointed the gun at the
    kid and just said….. “get the Feck out of my garage”

    and given him a stern warning that this is the USA where people
    will shoot you for walking into their garage….

    There is just NO excuse to kill somebody for entering your open
    garage….

    That could have been somebody looking for help….
    or somebody wanting to help….

    It REALLY makes me sad that people feel the need to shoot people
    FIRST and ask questions later….

    and NO, I do not think this is the same as breaking into a home….
    a garage is NOT IN your home…..

    This is just another whack job who wanted to kill somebody
    for taking a freaking hammer…

    If you don’t like people taking your hammer… LOCK your freaking garage….

    a hammer you can replace….. somebody else’s LIFE, YOU CAN”t replace….

    and the fact that he set the purse in the garage deliberately, setting a trap…
    then shot and killed somebody makes my skin crawl….

  36. Karen, the boy’s friend admitted to petty theft, not robbery. Robbery is a much more serious crime and in most jurisdictions requires causing or threatening to cause personal injury in connection with the theft of property. The story here is that they were looking to steal some alcohol left in a garage, which typically might be a case of beer. I’m much less sympathetic to someone killed while trying to rob someone than I am to someone killed trying to steal a small amount of property.

  37. They were frustrated, on edge and felt someone in their neighborhood was watching them, Ryan said. The couple called police ‘and nothing was done,’ he said.

    ———————————————

    Perhaps it was the smoking of pot that made him so paranoid ????

    even a passive pot smoker can get that “I’m being watched feeling” …..

  38. Holy COW …. that POS that shot and killed the 2 teens that had entered his house and he recored the event…..

    Well…. he will be spending the REST of his miserable life in PRISON!!!

    Now, don’t get me wrong…..
    I am NOT that bleeding heart that I think kids should break into homes….

    However…..

    This guy a deranged lunatic ……

    here are the tapes of 2 teens taking their last breath…..

    http://www.dreamindemon.com/2014/05/02/tapes-released-byron-smith-killing-teen-robbers-basement/

    quite sobering……

  39. Killing for “stuff”? Insane. This guy needs to spend some serious time in jail. I’ve been burgled twice, lost some one-of-kind jewelry in one. Never considered getting a gun. Stuff is stuff and usually be replaced. The life of the teen is gone forever.

  40. There is an important aspect the article is not addressing. There are two definitions in the Montana statute. “Force” and “Deadly Force”.

    “Force” is defined in section 1 and is codified to mean the reasonable application of necessary force to remove or deter a person from entering an occupied structure. The elements are “reasonably believes” that the force is necessary and reasonable.

    “Deadly Force” as codified in section 2, is justified ONLY IF the victim reasonably believes they are to be assaulted or a forcible felonly will be committed.

    The common terms here are “reasonable” and “reasonable use of force.” There is nothing in this Montana Statute that grants any ability for a person to kill as Kaarma was alleged to have done. Nothing in the actions alleged by Kaarma were reasonable either. Kaarma should not be afforded with the deferrence the statute creates of an ordinary homeowner who was faced with a threatening burglar.

    If the charges against Kaarma are proven in my opinion he could be charged with premeditated murder, given the propensity he is showing to kill another person. I do not see the Montana Statute as being one that grants license for people to do as Young was alleged. If someone takes a crazy and uninformed interpretation of the law, or any law for that matter, it does not infer that the law is wholly problematic.

    The argument that these “castle doctrine” laws encourage others to unreasonably assaut or to kill others and should be repealed does not address the fact that the same could be said about the common law self defense provisions where a person could unlawfully assault another and claim the common law protection.

    The problem with not having a statutory remedy to the person acting in self defense is that the person could, in some areas, have to wait until they are criminally charged and put on trial before they may then bring up the self defense issue. In this case the Trier of Fact (Judge or Jury) determines if self defense is a factor. But if the statutory rememdy is available the state must prove the defense was unreasonable before charges may be filed. The legislature in ratifying these laws sought to protect homeowners from having to be arrested before they can prove self defense.

  41. I saw somewhere, I don’t remember the website, of the home security camera images of the garage. The photos were very good renditions of the victim. If Kaarma had instead simply turned the images over to the police and ended it there this entire tradgedy would have been avoided. That young man wouldn’t have lost his life and the family would have not suffered his loss.

  42. these teenagers had a history of petty theft. He was not innocent.
    Petty theft carries the death penalty now.
    .

    In NYC cops pretend to be sleeping drunks in the subway so people will rob them. What is the difference here.
    When the person approaches and looks like trying to rob them, the cops make no effort to make an arrest. They simply shoot the person dead.

    In both of the above, the only difference is that in one case the shooter would be a cop.
    In both of the above, a premeditaded killing is involved.

    Alternatively, if it is not usual for the cop to shoot the person dead, then the difference is that the cop is not a sick inadequate pervert.

  43. Darren Smith, you got this one right… “Force” and “Deadly Force” are quite a bit different. We have police to do the latter. If we all started being vigilantes, we’d have anarchy, which is, of course, what some people want.

  44. Karen S 5/16@1513
    There is nothing louder that a 12GA racking in the middle of the night. Anyone who is fool enough to force the door automatically becomes a Darwin award candidate.

  45. Thanks, Waldo. I did not know that the difference between robbery and petty theft was the causing or threatening personal injury. Isn’t there also a dollar amount threshold? If someone steals money from a bank vault after hours, that would also be a robbery, right? I am not familiar with the legal distinction between terms.

  46. Sling – given the over reactive deadly force we have seen on this blog by cops, I am not sure where this particular case is going. And much depends on the jury. Drawing a jury pool in Missoula that is anti-gun is not the same as drawing one in NYC

  47. True. There are a lot of hunters in Missoula, and a high rate of gun ownership. Foreign exchange students might not understand the danger of breaking into someone’s home in Montana. If he had pumped his shotgun, he might have gotten an apology, and “I’m leaving”.

  48. Would one of the guest bloggers consider getting the word out about this story? A woman has been sentenced to die because she married a Christian. She is the daughter of a Muslim man, and a Christian woman. She considers herself Christian, but Sudan considers her an apostate Muslim because of her father. They sentenced her to 100 lashes for adultery, because they do not recognize her marriage, and to death for apostasy. She is 8 months pregnant, and her 20 month old son is with her in prison.

    Is there anything the State Department can do to negotiate her release and bring her and her family to the US?

    http://www.cnn.com/2014/05/15/world/africa/sudan-christian-woman-apostasy/

  49. Darren Smith 5/16@1701
    Thank you once again. Your reasoning is always appreciated. I’d like to share one of your saved posts from 10/24/12 that bears on this thread.

    ” One thing that can be said, regardless of whether the Castle Doctrine is applicable or not, things are usually far better by not taking extreme measures. The least amount of force that can accomplish the goal is always best. Depending on the situation, I would either have called the police or escorted him off the property. Most likely, I would have most likely done the former. The reason: I don’t want to have to deal with any potential fallout as a result because it is a headache, risky, and what about the other person as well?

    Personally, I don’t see why in this case the shooter did not just go inside and lock the door. What’s the worst that could have happened in the garage, the husband vandalized the property? Then he could be arrested for burglary and malicious mischief. (the shooter could have satisfaction in this) Or he could have broken down the door and well the law is a little more clear here.

    There was no real need to shoot this man from what I read here. Just because you “can” do something does not mean you “must” do something.”

    I think anyone who keeps a gun should be required to read “In the Gravest Extreme: The Role of the Firearm in Personal Protection” by Massad Ayood. I think you and he have shared philosophies

  50. Drawing a jury pool in Missoula that is anti-gun

    What we have is an unncessary taking of a human life.
    It is worsened by the fact that a deliberate trap was set.

    This is not a matter of pro- or anti- gun.
    It is a matter of pro- or anti- sick_inadequate_pervert.

  51. I doubt that the US State Dept can do much or will do much. Maybe if they had some guts, they would hint that the rulers may wind up with a drone up their rear ends. That is about the only thing that will impress such Muslims.

  52. randyjet – considering who the last two SOS were and the current President, you expect any kind of action.

  53. Karen:

    The legal definitions of robbery and theft differ with each state. But in general terms robbery is a theft coupled with assault or threats to cause bodily injury to the victim or another person. Robbery is not theft in a building where no other person within. That would be just a burglary and a theft.

    As for theft there are degrees of theft depending on dollar amount and what was stolen. Generally the higher the value of the item taken, it would constitute a higher level of a theft. An example is a shoplifting of a $50.00 item would be, say a third degree theft but a shoplifting of a $500.00 item might be a second degree theft (depending on jurisdiction).

    As for burglary, and each state is different, if the garage in this case was a detached structure from the house, then it would be a burglary in the ordinary sense. But, if the garage was an integral part of the house it becomes a residental burglary/home invastion. This carries a higher penalty than an ordinary burglary. The most aggravated burglary is where an assault takes place against someone inside, often times regardless if it is a dwelling or not. In that case a theft could be elevated to a robbery because either an assault happened or a threat was made.

  54. Karen.

    This weekend one of us will write an article on the death sentence of the woman in Africa you mentioned.

  55. I wonder if there is a problem with the common law ‘no duty to retreat’ defense as opposed to the SYG and Castle doctrines, in that the former would require the culprit to have entered the structure before there was a threat which would support the common law defense? If that is true, then the Castle doctrine permits the homeowner to take offensive (shooting) action before the would-be intruder intrudes. If that is true, I would much rather keep the intruder out than attempt to chase him out. If my original proposition is untrue, then never mind.

  56. karen s@2:54p.m.

    do you have a link to what you describe as
    “There have been grizzly killings of horses around the US as part of an underground horse meat ring.”

    the only articles i can find on this subject are 4 1/2’s y/o and only in south florida

    thanks

  57. Pete – it’s been going on for years, and FL is where it’s most common. At least where the horse’s butchered remains have been found. Throughout the US, thieves steal horses and either sell them as riding or breeding stock, or to slaughter. There is a website called netposse.com that is a common alert for stolen horses. Although the slaughter houses have been temporarily closed in the US, they still operate in Canada and Mexico, and there are still lots of kill buyers at the auctions. Which is where stolen horses can end up.

  58. Wait a minute, hold on a second. The shooter had a hairdresser!? Look at him – . Anybody else find that troubling?

  59. Paul Schulte,
    Defending property doesn’t look like unlocked doors and windows, open garages and purses in eye sight. If you consider that “securing one’s property” I’d hate to hear what you call unsecured property.

  60. The police create traps like this all the time and then if need be kill those who come into them. If under the same set of circumstances the police would not be charged with anything had it been them who shot the kid, how can it be justified to charge the homeowner for doing exactly what the police do every day?

  61. For those who have not been following the courts lately, the Ninth Circuit just reauthorized the roundup and slaughter of mustangs in the Western states.

  62. Was the house attached to the garage? If I was defending the case I would take a video of the walk from the door where the perp penetrated, to the side door to the kitchen, to the hall, to the bedroom. It would talk about as long as the yawn from juror number one in the front row when the prosecutor says our guy had no right to shoot the perp.

  63. Max-1 – I think the case is iffy, but I think he has a better than even chance of beating the charges given all the givens. Personally, I would have stopped with the cameras, but I clearly am not the shooter.

  64. rafflaw – you have to learn the magic words

    I was in fear for my life.

    Every cop knows this by heart, if he doesn’t learn it at the academy either his training officer or the union drills it in to them.

  65. pete – it is my understanding after being both accused of threadjacking and accusing others of threadjacking, that the crime does not exist. One of the things I like about the Turley threads is that they ebb and flow like a real conversation. I have learned over time that you do not have to answer questions put to you and should not expect answers to questions that you put to others. If you want to have a conversation about black market horse meat I personally am not offended.

  66. Tom: “The police create traps like this all the time and then if need be kill those who come into them…

    “if need be”
    Can give examples of when a need to kill people would arise?
    Did any of those arise in this case?
    Can you supply links to cases where police have set traps like this and ended up killing?

    If anyone sets up a situation where the inevitable result will be a death, they are engaged in a premeditated killing.
    This guy set himself up as judge, jury and executioner of a petty thief.

    He had other options.
    He could have secured his property against opportunistic thieves.
    His CCTV could have been used to ID the person.
    Given that he had a prepared trap in his garage, he could have arranged net/barrier/obstacles that would stop an intruder from getting to him after being challenged.

    He could have set up a physical trap – think “Home alone”. This one could be problematical if the person was injured.
    Is it not insane? Execute a human being and you walk free. Inflict some minor damage/discomfort in the same circumstances and you could be in trouble.
    Any legal system that would support such insanity is not fit for purpose.

  67. Sling – in most states, MT may be one, set up a human trap is illegal. And just for reference, ‘Home Alone’ was fiction.

  68. Tom,I know of no police dept where the cops have the right to shoot suspects on sight. You contention is absurd. The whole point of police is to bring people to court, NOT to execute them. Now in a dictatorship, the idea of a court is moot, so shooting people just because is quite appropriate. You might want to consider a change of country if you feel that is good policing. The rest of us do not.

  69. in most states, MT may be one, set up a human trap is illegal

    Yet this is what the guy did in this case. He set up a trap for a human.
    He left the door open – with the purse on view as added bait.

    Could it possibly be that shooting the prey dead is legal whereas trapping him alive in a net or cage is illegal?
    That would be totally insane. It should be fiction.

  70. @Karen S, for information about what you can do regarding the awful sentence rendered to the Sudanese Christian woman please go to http://www.aiusa.org
    Personally this demonstrates once again the horrendous inhumane actions at the hands of religious extremists.

  71. was not aware that sick-inadequate-pervert was a crime in Montana.
    It’s quite probable that *being* a sick-inadequate-pervert is not illegal.
    Some might say that it is a sacred God-given right to be so. Constitution and all that!

    *Behaving* like a sick-inadequate-pervert is an entirely different matter.

  72. Sling – acting like a sick-inadequate-pervert would have to be codified before it became illegal to act like one.

  73. All of this discussion about the castle doctrine is misplaced. As I read the statute, Kaarman cannot rely on the castle doctrine because there is no reason to believe Dede intended to assault anyone or commit a forcible felony upon entry. Unless Montana defines forcible felony to include theft of an unattended bottle of liquor or underage drinking, this ain’t no castle doctrine case. Kaarman would, under the Montana statute, be permitted to use non-deadly force only. I think Kaarman will be found guilty, although, I agree, there is no sympathy to be had for Dede. This case presents no reason to gripe about the castle doctrine.

  74. The name does not sound German and the face looks Italian or Spanish. From where does the thief actually hail? I don’t usually think of a German student being a garage prowler. Walk into a garage in Montana and expect to get shot. Someone should have loaned him the vest which is discussed in a later topic on the blog here.

  75. Two points:

    1) why isn’t the shooter’s wife, Janelle Pflager being charged as an accomplice?

    2) German Consul Peter Rosen putting the Montana Governor and prosecutors on notice that he expects that the law will be fully applied and he trusts that:

    “justice will be done by not letting go unpunished the shooting of an unarmed juvenile … German penal law also applies for crimes committed against German nationals abroad, enabling German state prosecutors to open investigations in such cases.”

    If Kaarma gets off via castle doctrine defense, it will be interesting to see how/if the German Consul’s thinly veiled threat to try Kaarma in Germany plays out.

  76. @ Al Zheimers: Dede was not a thief, he was a trespasser, who if not killed by Kaarma may or may not have burgled. His family were Turkish immigrants to Germany.

  77. I think if the US can go after those who harm or kill US citizens abroad, then it is perfectly fine for the Germans to do the same for Kaarma. The Germans should put in their bid soon before the jury may free this killer.

  78. Al – since the aforementioned vest appears to have been defective, loaning it to our dead foreign exchange student would not have changed anything.

  79. JC – I think if Kaarma is found not guilty, double jeopardy would apply to any German law. However, I think it is out of line for Germany to threaten the Governor of Montana, who really has no part in any of this. And knowing Montanans, I am sure they are literally quaking in their boots over this threat.

  80. I think Montana should reconsider accepting Turkish students who attend German universities and apply to prowl garages in Montana.

  81. Ok, we can take isolated fringe cases that are heavily reported like these nutjobs here who clearly misunderstood the castle doctrine law as some sort of pseudo-hunting license without having the legal cojones or indeed probably the legal capacity to understand the specific nuance of the Law even if he had a copy stapled to the back of the door leading to the garage for his immediate review before the shooting.

    These are the lunatic fringe. Their misinterpretation of the law and the very sad, but isolated any very thankfully (in a country with more than 300 million souls within its borders) rare, though every case receives national attention by those who fear the castle doctrine laws.

    Those who TRULY fear the castle doctrine laws and want to see them overturned are not the gun hating progressives and liberals (though they do and do), those who try fear it are those who make a twisted living breaking into other people’s homes – some by stealth (burglary), some by force (robbery & home invasions). Google or search any all town rural or big city major metropolitan newspaper for “home invasion” “home robbery” “burglary” and just watch the hundreds of results scroll by – even if you look for just one month of data!
    Not some single isolated kid killed by a nutjob in Montana that should go to jail for his laying in wait, and MOST DISTURBING HIS RAKING OF THE GARAGE WITH 12Guage 00
    Buckshot pellets 9×32 caliber pellets per shot traveling between 1200 & 1600 fps x at least 5 maybe 7 shots spread over the garage across an open garage door in a residential neighborhood. It’s like spraying 63 shots from an 8″ .32cal revolver into the neighborhood
    And just praying nobody else in the neighborhood gets shot.

    That alone demonstrates a reckless and wanton disregard for life, a basic negligence that only sets the stage for his depraved indifference homicide.

    But this guy isn’t Everyman and he isn’t acting reasonably

    It is unfair to judge the value of the law because he does not understand it and takes a wrongful action because of that mistake. He deserves to be punished.

    However – those who really fear this law are those who would victimize us in our homes. It creates a climate of fear, uncertainty and doubt. They must fear the armed homeowner – or even his mere possibility. They must plan and act accordingly. These laws specifically reduce and/or deter those violent home invasions that are the most feared and most damaging of all home crimes.

    Eliminating them would allow criminals to think homeowners won’t shoot, will hesitate. (A fatal mistake at my home, regardless of any law). They may attack the homeowner instead of flee.

    By deterring some of the most vile, vicious, and feared violent
    Crime we have these laws serve a valuable purpose and should not be taken away. Instead those who misapply the thoughts behind the law should be prosecuted

  82. Reblogged this on veritasusa and commented:
    Ok, we can take isolated fringe cases that are heavily reported like these nutjobs here who clearly misunderstood the castle doctrine law as some sort of pseudo-hunting license without having the legal cojones or indeed probably the legal capacity to understand the specific nuance of the Law even if he had a copy stapled to the back of the door leading to the garage for his immediate review before the shooting.
    These are the lunatic fringe. Their misinterpretation of the law and the very sad, but isolated any very thankfully (in a country with more than 300 million souls within its borders) rare, though every case receives national attention by those who fear the castle doctrine laws.
    Those who TRULY fear the castle doctrine laws and want to see them overturned are not the gun hating progressives and liberals (though they do and do), those who try fear it are those who make a twisted living breaking into other people’s homes – some by stealth (burglary), some by force (robbery & home invasions). Google or search any all town rural or big city major metropolitan newspaper for “home invasion” “home robbery” “burglary” and just watch the hundreds of results scroll by – even if you look for just one month of data!
    Not some single isolated kid killed by a nutjob in Montana that should go to jail for his laying in wait, and MOST DISTURBING HIS RAKING OF THE GARAGE WITH 12Guage 00
    Buckshot pellets 9×32 caliber pellets per shot traveling between 1200 & 1600 fps x at least 5 maybe 7 shots spread over the garage across an open garage door in a residential neighborhood. It’s like spraying 63 shots from an 8″ .32cal revolver into the neighborhood
    And just praying nobody else in the neighborhood gets shot.
    That alone demonstrates a reckless and wanton disregard for life, a basic negligence that only sets the stage for his depraved indifference homicide.
    But this guy isn’t Everyman and he isn’t acting reasonably
    It is unfair to judge the value of the law because he does not understand it and takes a wrongful action because of that mistake. He deserves to be punished.
    However – those who really fear this law are those who would victimize us in our homes. It creates a climate of fear, uncertainty and doubt. They must fear the armed homeowner – or even his mere possibility. They must plan and act accordingly. These laws specifically reduce and/or deter those violent home invasions that are the most feared and most damaging of all home crimes.
    Eliminating them would allow criminals to think homeowners won’t shoot, will hesitate. (A fatal mistake at my home, regardless of any law). They may attack the homeowner instead of flee.
    By deterring some of the most vile, vicious, and feared violent
    Crime we have these laws serve a valuable purpose and should not be taken away. Instead those who misapply the thoughts behind the law should be prosecuted

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