UPDATE – Father of Slain Exchange Student Leaves Montana
UPDATE – Thursday, May 1 4:00 p.m.
The father of a slain 17-year-old exchange student has departed Montana after arranging for his son’s body to be flown back to Germany.
German consulate spokeswoman Julia Reinhardt says Celal Dede (DEE’-dee) flew out of Missoula on Thursday morning and Diren Dede’s body was transported Wednesday afternoon.
Reinhardt says the family will hold a memorial service in Hamburg before a burial in Turkey.
Diren Dede was killed early Sunday in the garage of a Missoula homeowner. Markus Kaarma has been charged with deliberate homicide after prosecutors say he fired four shots into the dark garage without warning.
Kaarma plans to plead not guilty and says he was afraid for his life.
Celal Dede criticized the U.S.gun culture during his brief stay to secure the release of the body.
Copyright 2014 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
UPDATE – Thursday, May 1 7:00 a.m.
BERLIN (AP) — The father of a 17-year-old German exchange student shot dead in Montana has criticized the gun culture in the U.S.
Celal Dede told the German news agency dpa Thursday that “America cannot continue to play cowboy.”
Dede, who traveled to the U.S. to arrange the transport of his son Diren’s body, said he had never imagined his son could be shot for simply entering somebody’s property.
The 46-year-old said he wouldn’t have allowed his son to participate in the exchange if he had known.
A homeowner in Missoula, Montana, on Sunday fired four blasts from a shotgun into his garage, killing Diren Dede who was inside. He faces a charge of deliberate homicide.
Celal Dede said he hoped the man would receive a fair punishment.
MISSOULA, Mont.(AP) — The German consulate called for justice Wednesday after a homeowner fired four blasts from a shotgun into his garage, killing a 17-year-old exchange student who was inside.
The investigation into the killing of Diren Dede ofHamburgshould make clear that it is illegal to kill an unarmed juvenile just because he was trespassing, said Julia Reinhardt, spokeswoman for the consulate inSan Francisco.
“We consider what happened completely out of proportion to the probable risk,” Reinhardt said.
Dede’s father, Celal, arrived in Missoula on Tuesday night with a family friend to recovery his son’s body. They spent part of the morning at the home of Diren Dede’s host family in Missoula and declined to be interviewed.
The teen was studying at Missoula’s Big Sky High School and was to leave the U.S.after the school term ended in just a few weeks.
It is not clear what Diren Dede was doing in Markus Kaarma’s garage just before the shooting early Sunday morning. Prosecutors allege the 29-year-old wildland firefighter shot into his garage without warning after an intruder tripped sensors he had installed.
Just days before, Kaarma told a woman that his house had been burglarized twice and he had been waiting up nights to shoot an intruder, court records said.
Kaarma’s attorney, Paul Ryan, said his client plans to plead not guilty to a charge of deliberate homicide because Montana law allows homeowners to protect their residences with deadly force when they believe they are going to be harmed.
There had been a number of break-ins in the neighborhood and Kaarma believed the police weren’t doing anything about it, Ryan said.
“We know with no question the individual entered garage. Kaarma didn’t know who he was, his intent or whether he was armed,” Ryan said.
Kaarma and his partner have remained in their home since he was released on $30,000 bond Monday. A sign on their front door Wednesday told visitors not to ring the bell.
Kaarma left the home once with a child in his arms and walked away without comment after an Associated Press reporter identified himself.
An official from the German consulate is in Missoula to assist Celal Dede in recovering the body and to meet with local law enforcement and prosecutors, Reinhardt said.
“This is very important to us, and she is there to put pressure on the authorities to investigate thoroughly,” Reinhardt said. “We don’t have any doubt that this will happen.”
Dede’s family in Hamburg told the German newspaper Bild the family has lived in Germany since 1977, and Diren has two sisters ages 19 and 21. He was to be in theU.S.for just another six weeks, but now the family plans a burial inTurkey, the newspaper reported.
Diren Dede played soccer for his Missoula high school and in Germany. His former team in Hamburg was to play a charity match Wednesday to help the family pay for the funeral and other costs.
Information from: Great Falls Tribune, http://www.greatfallstribune.com
Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.