Judge’s Ruling Prevents Media and Public From Viewing Some Prior Bad Acts in Markus Kaarma Trial [AUDIO]
The attorneys representing accused murderer Markus Kaarma received a favorable ruling from District Judge Ed McClean last Friday.
Lead attorney Paul Ryan said on Monday, that Judge McClean agreed to exclude the public and the media from viewing information regarding alleged prior bad acts that he may or may not have committed before the killing of Diren Dede.
"It's a typical motion brought by defense attorneys that's required under the law called the 404-B law, which talks about prior bad acts, should there be any,especially those that have nothing to do with the case itself," Ryan said. "What the judge has said, which we believe is proper, is that these will not be addressed publicly. However, if the judge says there are certain prior bad acts that can be revealed in court, then those would be available to the public, but until that determination has been made by the judge, then those prior bad acts would not be allowed out in the public eye."
Ryan also clarified a misconception regarding his team's request for a change of venue.
"We did not file two separate requests for a change in venue," Ryan said. "There was actually only one request. and then we filed what is essentially known as a reply brief which is simply a follow-up on our original motion. In this reply brief, we put in a request for a questionnaire which is typical, that's happened in Missoula before, and the judge granted that. so, at this time, he kept the venue the same, but he said he wants to see more information from the public, so he wants a questionnaire to find out what the public does or doesn't know, so that is right in line with what you'd want to know in a case where venue is an issue."
Kaarma has pleaded not guilty to shooting the unarmed German exchange student Diren Dede, who was trespassing in Kaarma's garage on April 27. His deliberate homicide trial is scheduled to begin in December in Missoula District Court. The case has stirred worldwide interest, since the victim was an exchange student from Hamburg, Germany, and that Kaarma's defense team claimed the man was acting within what is called 'The Castle Doctrine', in which armed force to defend one's home may be allowed in some cases.