Missoula attorney Paul Ryan is defending Markus Kaarma. He tells NBC Montana Kaarma will enter a not guilty plea once the arraignment takes place.
Ryan describes the shooting as a case for Montana's Castle Doctrine, explaining that his client feared for the safety of his family in their home.
"Unfortunately, in his mind, he was forced to discharge the firearm because of the noises he heard, and he knew there was a male in there. He shot, not trying to shoot and kill, but to warn, but unfortunately, the young man was struck and killed," Ryan told NBC Montana.
"When you look at the fact that is is late and night, they had been robbed two different times, we know somebody is in the home, it certainly leads to a lot of facts that would lead somebody to believe they need to defend themselves," Ryan continued. "They didn't have a lot of choices. Calling the police wasn't a really good option, which they did call the police. The police, in this case, didn't even arrive until 12 minutes after the shots were fired. There was not a quick response that was going to happen because of their location."