Markus Kaarma, the Montana man tried for deliberate homicide for shooting and killing a German exchange student whom prosecutors say was “baited” into entering the homeowner’s garage has been convicted of that crime, reports WRAL news.

The defense narrative of innocence was that Kaarma was in a heightened state of fear, having already been burglarized several times when at home with his common law wife and their 10-month-old child, that the police had been ineffective in dealing with the repeated burglaries, and that he acted in necessary self-defense when he spied the figure of Derin Dede in the darkened garage.

In order for the jury to come to their unanimous guilty verdict they would necessarily have concluded that the state had disproved this narrative beyond a reasonable doubt.

Kaarma faces a minimum of 10 years in prison on the conviction, and is scheduled to be sentenced on February 11.  His lawyers naturally say they plan an appeal, but there is no indication as yet on the particular issue(s) on which they would base such an appeal.

True to form, the media continues to report this as a Stand-Your-Ground case, which it certainly is not.  Kaarma would not have had a legal duty to retreat under any circumstance because the shooting took place in his home, and there is no state that imposes a legal duty to retreat when facing an intruder in one’s home, a doctrine known as the Castle Doctrine.  Given that all Stand-Your-Ground does is relieve you of an otherwise existing duty to retreat, the absence of such a duty makes Stand-Your-Ground entirely irrelevant.

As an added bonus, the media is now adding doctrine of a legal presumption of reasonable fear to its already confused conflation of the Castle Doctrine and Stand-Your-Ground, creating a mish-mash of legal concepts akin to a child’s finger painting.


We have previously reported on the Kaarma case here at Legal Insurrection on numerous occasions, including:

VERDICT WATCH: Montana Homeowner Accused of “Baiting” Intruder

Trial Underway of Homeowner Accused of “Baiting” Intruder

Journalists Continue to Suffer From Rabid “StandYourGroundPhobia”

–-Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

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