Montana Man Charged in Death of Teenage Exchange Student

Montana Man Charged in Death of Teenage Exchange Student

It is being reported that a western Montana man is being charged with the death of a teenage exchange student, age 17, after prosecutors stated he set up a trap inside his garage to try and catch any potential burglars because he was angry over recent thefts.

The suspect, Markus Hendrik Kaarma, age 29, made his first appearance in the Missoula County Court on Monday but did not enter a plea. However the state of Montana is charging him with deliberate homicide. Kaarma’s lawyer, Paul Ryan, declares that Kaarma feels awful about what happened to the teenager, but Ryan stated that he himself was extremely disappointed that a Missoula County attorney ended up filing the charge.

Courts documents released read that Kaarma’s house, which is located near the corner of Deer Canyon Court and Prospect Lane had recently been robbed two different times, so he had decided to put in security equipment as a way to try and stop the break-ins.

The documents also state that when he was forewarned to an intruder in his garage on Sunday morning, he rushed outside with a shotgun. Kaarma shouted into the garage, and his common-law wife, Janelle Pflager, explained that she heard a respond that was of either “wait” or “hey”.  Kaarma began to fire four gunshots out in the dark garage in a type of widespread sweeping gesture very soon after that.

Diren Dede, who was both a junior at Big Sky High School and an exchange student from Germany, ended up being struck in his head and arm. He died a short time later after he was taken to a nearby hospital.

Kaarma explained to police investigators that he was in fear for his life and for the life of Pflager. However Pflager stated she had put out a purse which contained personal possessions she had categorized in the garage to tempt burglars to steal it. She had also left the garage door open on purpose. However even with doing all this, they certainly did not tell the kid to come inside their garage, attorney Ryan declared, he entered it voluntarily.

The court papers also read that Kaarma had told a hair stylist earlier that he had been on purpose just up waiting three nights in a row so he could shoot a “bleeping” kid.


On Monday morning, Big Sky High School officials confirmed that Diren Dede was the teen who had been shot and killed during the occurrence and that he was indeed a foreign exchange student from the Hamburg, Germany and a junior at the school.

Alex Apostle, who works as the Superintendent of the Missoula Public School system states that the situation was extremely tragic and that everyone was working on pulling together in order to give support to the students, families and staff of Big Sky High School.

Apostle added that he had met with the school’s administrative team on Sunday and they instantly put their crisis teams into effect at the school. He wanted to give thanks to the local hospital, law enforcement and the University of Montana as they were making sure they had the support they needed for the Dede family and each of the families from the school system. School administrators are in the process of working on grief support for the victim’s classmates.

The Justice of the Peace ended up setting Kaarma’s bail at $30,000.

Kaarma is now being charged with the death of Diren Dede, age 17, after prosecutors stated he set up a trap inside his garage to try and catch any potential burglars because he was angry over recent thefts.

By Kimberly Ruble


ABC News

NBC News

The Kansas City Star

One Response to "Montana Man Charged in Death of Teenage Exchange Student"

  1. Glen Ebert   May 2, 2014 at 11:59 am

    In a perfect just universe Kaarma would have gone down there to find a brown bear waiting for him.

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