MISSOULA, Mont. - The neighborhood where a 17-year-old German foreign exchange student was shot Sunday morning has been reluctantly thrust into the news spotlight.
The attorney for a Montana man charged in the death said the man is afraid to leave his home after receiving death threats.
Markus Kaarma posted a $30,000 bond on a charge of deliberate homicide in the death of Diren Dede of Hamburg, Germany.
Attorney Paul Ryan said Tuesday that Kaarma, his partner Janelle Pflager and their 10-month-old baby are now captives in their own home after receiving the threats.
We checked with the police department and were told Kaarma mentioned threats via social media in passing, but had not filed an official report.
Prosecutors allege Kaarma fired a shotgun into the garage four times after Dede tripped sensors outside. Dede was struck in the head and arm.
Sunday's shooting has reignited debate over a Montana law that gives a person the right use force to protect his or her own home from a threat.
Kaarma's release from jail has sparked quite a bit of comment in his neighborhood. One woman said she won't let her kids out of the house. Another mom said she thinks her youngster is confused by all the media attention.
The door to the garage where the young exchange student died was open on Tuesday. Neighbors said the family left it open often while they smoked.
Not a lot of people seemed to know the young man with a wife and infant. But he was friendly enough, said Jared Kuehan, the neighbor across the street.
"We actually helped each other shovel our driveways," said Kuehan, "stuff like that, just chatted a little bit about where they'd been from, and of similar age, and we'd both just moved to the neighborhood, so we had a little bit in common, but nothing questionable about him."
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