Man Gets 70 Years for Killing Exchange Student

Cops alleged Markus Kaarma had laid trap, shot unarmed trespasser
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 12, 2015 1:59 PM CST
Man Gets 70 Years for Killing Exchange Student
In this Oct. 8, 2013, photo Diren Dede, right, plays in a Big Sky soccer game against Hellgate.   (AP Photo/The Missoulian, Tom Bauer)

Markus Kaarma, the Montana man police say laid a trap and killed a German exchange student trespassing in it, was sentenced today to 70 years in prison in the death of 17-year-old Diren Dede. Kaarma won't be eligible for parole for at least 20 years, reports the AP. The 30-year-old had used a "Castle Doctrine" defense—holding that a man's home is his castle and he has the right to defend it, similar to Stand Your Ground laws—but was convicted in December.

His girlfriend testified that Kaarma was the "single-most misunderstood person I have ever met," and that "he is not a violent person. He didn't want to kill anyone. He only wanted to make sure he and myself and son were alive at the end." Diren's parents traveled from Germany for the trial and sentencing. Said his father today: "It is justice. I am not happy. My son is dead." (More Montana stories.)

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