29-year-old Grant Creek resident Markus Kaarma releases his first statement since April 27, the night he allegedly shot and killed 17-year-old Diren Dede.
The statement, made by way of his attorney Paul Ryan, begins by Kaarma offering, "sincere condolences to the family and friends of Diren Dede over the loss of their son, brother and friend."
Ryan then runs through Kaarma's perspective of what happened before and after the shooting, speaking of the fear and insecurity Kaarma and his partner, Janelle Pflager, were feeling after a string of burglaries in their neighborhood including two burglaries to Kaarma and Pflager's home.
According to the statement, on April 24, Kaarma and his family, received notice from the Prospect Home Owners Association about a series of burglaries in the neighborhood, including information that police had been notified-- even saying that one unidentified homeowner had told police "someone was going to get shot" if the burglaries and break-ins didn't end.
Kaarma's home had been burglarized two times in less than a month before April 27, when Diren Dede was found entering Kaarma's open garage.
Each time the home had been burglarized, Kaarma and Pflager were inside with their 10-month-old son.
Personal items, a wallet and credit cards were stolen in these prior incidents.
Kaarma and Pflager reported the previous thefts to the Missoula Police Dept., but say they were unaware of action being taken to protect their home.
As they were not aware of any action taken by Missoula police to protect their home and follow up on the unauthorized credit card charges that began appearing on Pflager's credit card bill, Kaarma and Pflager had a surveillance camera and motion detectors installed in their garage.
Kaarma said he felt, "A high level of fear and anxiety for himself and his family due to the burglaries and lack of response from law enforcement."
Ryan goes on to say, "Markus felt his family was being targeted by burglars who had become more sophisticated and bolder with every new invasion."
This leads up to the night of April 27 at 12:30 a.m., when Kaarma and Pflager were at home watching a movie and heard their motion sensors go off.
Ryan says Kaarma ran towards his front door, grabbed a shotgun sitting nearby, and went into the driveway in front of his unlit and dark garage.
He then fired four shots into the garage, two striking Dede in the shoulder and in the head.
He says, "Markus believed that the intruder posed an imminent threat to himself and his family." Ryan goes on to describe what happened after he realized Dede had been shot-- Pflager called 9-1-1 and attempted life saving procedures on Dede.
"Markus denies that he lured anyone into his garage. The family's garage door was open for ventilation because Markus and Janelle smoke cigarettes in the garage and had done so before the tragedy. The purse alleged to be 'bait', was actually located in a dark corner of the unlit garage and not visible from the driveway," Ryan says in the statement.
Kaarma, who was charged with deliberate homicide, will be in court again for a preliminary hearing on May 12 at 4:00 p.m. Ryan says later, when he is arraigned, Kaarma will enter a not guilty plea.
"We intend to pursue all available legal options so that Markus will be exonerated of this charge, as we believe he defended his family and himself, against an unwanted intruder burglarizing his home," Ryan said.