MISSOULA, Mont., Dec. 17 (UPI) -- A Montana man who set a trap for teenage burglars he thought were targeting him was convicted Wednesday of deliberate homicide.
A jury deliberated for about 10 hours before finding Markus Kaarma, 30, guilty.
Dede Diren, 27, was shot and killed inside Kaarma's garage in Missoula on April 27. During the trial, Kaarma's lawyer argued the killing was justifiable because Kaarma was protecting his home and property.
Prosecutors said Kaarma and Janelle Pflager set a trap that included a video camera in the garage. They also left the door ajar with a purse visible inside.
The couple watched Dede in the garage before Kaarma went out with his gun, prosecutors said.
"The only person who rushed to judgment was the defendant," Deputy County Attorney Karla Painter said in her closing statement. "The only person that was targeted was Mr. Dede. He didn't need to die on April 27. Was he somewhere he shouldn't have been? Yes. Was he considering taking something he shouldn't have? Probably. Did he deserve to die for transgressions?"
Lawyer Paul Ryan said in his closing argument Tuesday that Dede was going "to violate the sanctity of someone's home."
Celal and Gulcin Dede, the student's father and mother, flew to Missoula from Hamburg for the trial. The couple hugged when they heard the verdict, and Gulcin wept.
Pflager also cried.