Markus Kaarma Attorneys File Extension on Appeal Before Montana Supreme Court [YouTube]
Markus Kaarma was convicted of deliberate homicide in the shotgun slaying of 17 year-old German exchange student Diren Dede in February, and was sentenced to 70 years in prison.
Kaarma’s attorneys then filed an appeal, which was accepted by the Montana Supreme Court. Attorney Nate Holloway said on Sunday, that the written transcript of the trial has been delivered, and more time is needed to properly frame an appeal.
"We've already filed for our first extension," Holloway said. "Technically, once we received the transcripts, then our brief was due in 30 days, however, we are able to seek extensions. At this point, we have filed for one extension for our current due date, which is in early September,"
Among the points that Kaarma'a attorneys plan to present before the Montana Supreme Court asking for a reversal of his conviction and a new trial for their client, include a change of venue out of Missoula County.
"At some point, the pretrial media coverage just got so intense that it can affect people's perception of the case," he said. "The reality is there were over 450 local news items written about this case, and our argument is how can you say that Markus is going to get a fair trial when everyone in the community knew about the case."
Holloway said other briefs on appeal will include the jury instructions by District Judge Ed McLean.
"Then we had some issues with specifically one juror that we tried to get removed due to her ties to law enforcement, and we weren't able to, so we had to use our own challenges to remove that juror, and that's another issue that we're appealing," he said.
Holloway said the appeal before the Montana Supreme Court is a completely different matter than the civil trial, which was recently settled. The Dede family sued the Kaarmas for monetary damages and other issues.
The Dede's attorney in Missoula for the civil trial was David Paoli, who, along with present Missoula County Attorney Kirsten Pabst, successfully defended Grizzly quarterback Jordan Johnson in a rape trial in 2012. Paoli said the monetary damages could not be disclosed, however, he did say there would be enough funds to set up memorials to the slain teenager, Diren Dede.
"They, (the Dede family) want to use some of the monetary settlement proceeds to establish a memorial, possible a soccer field both in Missoula and in Dede's hometown of Hamburg, Germany in Diren's name," Paoli said. " There's also a requirement that the multiple guns in the home be turned over to the Dede's, with the exception of the Mossberg shotgun, the murder weapon, which is still necessary in future court cases."
When asked if the Dede's would want that weapon once all the court proceedings were completed, Paoli said, "Only to ensure that it would be destroyed."