Today is the day that convicted murderer Markus Kaarma will learn his fate.

The sentencing hearing before District Court Judge Ed McLean is scheduled for 9 a.m. however, at 8:30, Judge McLean is expected to address a defense motion for a new trial, as well as the possibility of sentencing Kaarma on a reduced charge of mitigated deliberate homicide.

Kaarma was convicted in December in the shotgun slaying of 17 year-old German exchange student Diren Dede. His defense team has twice asked for a change of venue due to massive negative publicity surrounding the trial. Lead attorney Paul Ryan said an appeal to the Montana Supreme Court is likely following the sentencing today.

The maximum sentence under Montana law for deliberate homicide is life in prison.