MISSOULA – The girlfriend of a Montana man charged with killing a German exchange student in his garage held her face in her hands on the witness stand Friday as a 911 call she made the night of the shooting played that said the teen was bleeding from “everywhere.”
During the call, Janelle Pflager also said 17-year-old Diren Dede was lying face down and “barely breathing” after Markus Kaarma shot him. She said Kaarma didn’t help her as she tried to aid the mortally wounded high school student, who died a short time later at a Missoula hospital.
Dede’s father, Celal Dede, grimaced while listening to the 911 recording and then whispered to attorneys who accompanied him and his wife.
Pflager’s testimony came during the second day of Kaarma’s deliberate homicide trial.
Kaarma, 30, is charged with baiting the victim into sneaking into his Missoula garage early April 27 and killing him with four shotgun blasts after being alerted by a motion detector.
Defense attorney Paul Ryan said Montana’s “stand your ground” law allows homeowners to protect their residences with deadly force when they believe they are going to be harmed.
Kaarma didn’t know whether the person inside the garage was armed, Ryan said. He said Kaarma felt targeted and increasingly anxious for the safety of Pflager and their infant son after the couple had been burglarized twice in the days leading up to the shooting.
Several Missoula police officers testified Friday about what transpired once they arrived on the scene. Missoula police Officer Jacob Jones testified he was among the first to arrive and said he asked Kaarma who shot the victim, to which Kaarma replied, “me.”
Jones then took over administering medical aid to Dede and said he was still alive at that time. Sgt. Michael Hebert said a bullet had gone through the garage into the living room wall and into the main entry before stopping. He also saw bullet damage that indicated another bullet went through the door leading from the garage into the home’s laundry room.
Jurors on Friday also heard audio tapes of Pflager talking with police in the hours after the shooting. She told officers that Dede had pleaded for his life, saying, “No, no, no, no, please!”
She testified that Dede did not say anything and that she was “rambling” to officers because she was traumatized.
“I did not hear those words,” she said. “I wish I said those words.”
Testimony indicated Kaarma had been on edge at the time and had exhibited some erratic behavior.
The trial will resume Monday and is scheduled to continue through Dec. 19.
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