Supreme Court Denies Markus Kaarma’s Appeal For a New Trial
The Montana Supreme Court this week denied an appeal for a new trial for convicted murderer Markus Kaarma,
Kaarma was sentenced to 70 years in the Montana State Prison in February 2015 for the shotgun slaying of 17 year-old German exchange student Diren Dede for trespassing in his garage in April 2014.
Nate Holloway of the Kaarma defense team said he received the news on Wednesday from the Montana Supreme Court.
"First and foremost, it's important to know how difficult it is to get a conviction reversed at the Supreme Court level," Holloway said. "We raised four different issues, but the court did find that the lower court erred on one issue related to blood spatter evidence, but the court ruled it was what is called a 'harmless error', meaning it was an error, but it didn't contribute to the conviction."
Holloway said the appeals process isn't quite over yet.
"We will be filing a motion for reconsideration on a couple of issues and we have a couple of weeks to do that," he said. "We believe that issue did contribute to the conviction. We have a tremendous amount of respect for the Supreme Court, but we'll at least be asking them to review certain facts that were omitted or otherwise not addressed in our opinion."
Holloway said it was difficult to inform the Kaarma family of the court's denial.
"That's obviously a real hard conversation and it's disappointing for everybody," he said. "I'd have to say that they're not giving up on any other legal remedies down the road."