Bail denied for Montana man convicted of shooting German exchange student in his garage

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MISSOULA, Montana — A western Montana man convicted of killing a 17-year-old German exchange student who was trespassing in his garage will remain in jail until sentencing Feb. 12.

District Judge Ed McLean on Wednesday denied bail for 30-year-old Markus Kaarma of Missoula.

"He (Kaarma) has been convicted of the offense of deliberate homicide, and it is not fair to the people of that community to turn him loose in that neighborhood, nor is it fair to the people of the state of Montana to place him in the midst of any other community," McLean said. "He is to be held without the benefit of bail."

McLean also read letters from Kaarma's neighbors expressing concern about his release.

A Missoula County jury found Kaarma guilty of deliberate homicide in the April 27 death of Diren Dede. Kaarma had been free on a $30,000 bond pending his trial, but he was jailed after his Dec. 17 conviction. He faces a minimum penalty of 10 years in prison.

Kaarma's attorneys have said they plan to appeal the conviction. They argued at trial that Kaarma had the legal right to use deadly force to protect his property and family from intruders.

Prosecutors alleged Kaarma and his partner set a trap to entice would-be burglars after two previous burglaries.

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