Kaarma Trial Decides on 8 Women and 4 Men for Jury
After hours of questions, twelve jurors and three alternates have been chosen to help determine whether or not Markus Kaarma is guilty of deliberate homicide in the shooting of Diren Dede.
Questions for potential jurors from the prosecution included media queries such as "have you read about the case?" Nearly all of the jurors had read media accounts but said they could keep an open mind.
At least three of of the jurors referenced The Missoulian; one claimed that the coverage was "biased," another claimed that the local paper had been "chasing its tail" to create a story.
Prosecuting attorney Andrew Paul also questioned potential jurors as to whether there was a distinction between 'use of force' and 'deadly force.' Paul also asked if 'stand your ground' gives you the right to advance when threatened? Paul further asked if a person can claim self-defense if they started the fight.
Defense Attorney Paul Ryan spent most of his time asking potential jurors about what measures they would take in defending their family in a home invasion. Another line of questioning checked if the juror candidates had "pulled pranks as a kid."
Finally three alternates were selected: two men and one woman. The final jury itself is composed of 8 women and four men.
Jurors were given preliminary instructions to be cautious about reading or watching news about the trial and not to talk about the case with friends or family. They were told court would reconvene on Thursday morning. Trial starts at 8:30 a.m.