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Supreme Court denies request to review Kaarma case from Missoula - KTVQ.com | Q2 | Continuous News Coverage | Billings, MT

Supreme Court denies request to review Kaarma case from Missoula

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Marcus Kaarma sentenced for 2014 murder of exchange student (MTN News photo) Marcus Kaarma sentenced for 2014 murder of exchange student (MTN News photo)

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court won’t review the case of a Missoula man who’s serving a 70-year prison sentence for shooting a teenage exchange student who broke into his garage.

A Missoula County District Court jury convicted Markus Kaarma for deliberate homicide for shooting and killing German foreign exchange student Diren Dede after he entered his open garage in December 2014. 

The Montana Supreme Court had already rejected Kaarma’s initial appeal last winter, rejecting his request for a new trial.

The U.S. Supreme Court rejected Kaarma’s petition to review the case Monday, a request based on a shorter list of issues questioning whether his Sixth Amendment rights had been violated, specifically the right to an impartial jury. 

Kaarma’s attorney, Nate Holloway, called the decision “disappointing”, but said it’s a big challenge to get the high court to accept a petition for review. 

“It’s certainly disappointing but not necessarily unexpected," Holloway said. "I knew on Friday that our petition was most likely denied. The court granted cert, or review, on nine cases and we weren’t one of them. Obviously that gives you an idea of the uphill battle it is to have the U.S. Supreme Court review a case.”

Holloway says Kaarma has the option for additional appeals, including the next “post-conviction” phase, where the Montana Supreme Court could be asked to review whether he had adequate defense representation during the trial.

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