MISSOULA — Missoula District Judge Ed McLean ordered that the sentencing hearing for Markus Kaarma will remain set for February 12 at 9:00am.
In McLean’s order, filed Tuesday, it said that should a hearing for the defendant’s motion for a new trial be deemed necessary, it will be held immediately prior to the sentencing hearing at 8:30am on February 12.
Markus Kaarma was convicted of shooting foreign exchange student Diren Dede when he caught him breaking into his garage last spring.
Defense Attorneys asked for a new trial in mid-January, arguing that biased media coverage did not allow their client to have a fair trial.
(January 28, 2015) Attorneys for Markus Kaarma, convicted for the shooting death of a German exchange student, have requested that the sentencing date in the case be delayed until a request for a new trial has been decided on.
Kaarma is currently set to be sentenced on February 12 for the death of Diren Dede, who was killed in Kaarma’s garage last April.
Kaarma’s defense attorneys had previously asked Judge Ed McLean to consider a new trial – or change Kaarma’s verdict of deliberate homicide to mitigated deliberate homicide, a lesser charge – saying that Kaarma’s Sixth Amendment rights were violated, because he did not have a fair and impartial jury.
Missoula County Deputy Attorney Andrew Paul has countered Tuesday’s motion by asking that the sentencing date change request be denied, stating that Dede’s father, and his attorney, have already purchased plane tickets to return to Missoula for Kaarma’s sentencing.
Judge McLean has not yet ruled on either motion.