Did Missoula Prosecutors Allow “Garage Hopper” to Flee US?

Did prosecutors at the Missoula County Attorney’s office get a heads up before an Ecuadorian exchange student apparently left the country?  If the term “garage hopping” means that this same Ecuadorian exchange student admitted to robbing, or attempting to rob, several Missoula, Montana homes- will the student be travelling back to the United States in order to face prosecution?  Will the student also be requested to travel back to the United States in order to testify at a potential trial following the shooting of a German exchange student he was allegedly “garage hopping” with?    

These are all questions I have for the Missoula County Attorney’s office.  Folks in Missoula may recall a previous rape case in Missoula, where the alleged rapist fled the country for Saudi Arabia before charges could be filed.

I posed some of the very questions above to Missoula Police Department spokesman Travis Welsh.  Sgt. Welsh referred me to Deputy County Attorney Andrew Paul.  Paul informed the woman answering the phone at the Missoula County Attorney’s office that he would not be answering questions regarding this case.  He also said he would not be answering questions pertaining to the Ecuadorian student and why the student left the country. 

Here’s the latest from the AP:

Kaarma’s attorney, Paul Ryan, did not immediately return calls for comment in response to the allegations. In a statement to the media, Ryan said Dede and a companion had broken into garages at least three of four times before the April 27 shooting, and the neighborhood was on alert after a series of burglaries.
Ryan said he received a transcript from a police interview in which the companion admitted to entering the garages. The statement did not identify the companion, but Ryan told the Missoulian newspaper he is an exchange student who has returned home to Ecuador.


VIDEO: Missoula Dem Questions Gun Laws on Al Jazeera

In case you missed it, a Democratic legislator from Missoula took to Al Jazeera TV to question Montana’s gun laws.  Meanwhile, Democratic US Senate candidate Dirk Adams (D-MT) said the shooter of a 17 year old German exchange student should be “put through the woodchipper.”

VIDEO: Missoula Dem Bashes Montana Gun Laws on Al Jazeera

Until we have all the facts in this case, I think Gary Marbut said it best. 

As the AP reports:

Gary Marbut with the Montana Shooting Sports Association, who helped draft House Bill 228, said it is premature to say the law is broken and needs to be fixed.

Still, Marbut doesn’t believe the legislature will overturn the changes made in 2009, noting they were passed by both houses of the Legislature and signed into law by Democratic Gov. Brian Schweitzer.
“We need to let the wheels of justice turn before we can make any kind of informed judgment about whether or not the law needs correction,” Marbut said.

How do they claim to know all the facts in this case?

AP: German Consulate Seeks Justice for Slain Student

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 of Hamburg should make clear that it is illegal to kill an unarmed juvenile just because he was trespassing, said Julia Reinhardt, spokeswoman for the consulate in San Francisco.

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 the U.S. for just another six weeks, but now the family plans a burial in Turkey, the newspaper reported.

NY Daily News Covers Exchange Student Shooting in Missoula

The New York Daily News, and several other national news outlets, are now wading into the coverage from Missoula. This, after a 17 year old German exchange student was shot and killed for allegedly attempting to rob a Missoula home.

Here’s how the Daily News begins their coverage:

A Montana man hell-bent on catching the bandits who broke into his home set up a trap to lure the thieves back before he fatally shot a 17-year-old boy — a German exchange student — in his garage, authorities said.

But it was an alleged quote, told third person from a local hairdresser, that captured the New York Daily News headline: ‘I’m just waiting to shoot some f–king kid’: Montana man arrested for allegedly trapping, killing teen suspect who broke into garage

“I’m just waiting to shoot some f–king kid,” he allegedly told the stylist during a visit to the local salon.

The Missoulian reports that the defendant is a US Forest Service firefighter:

On Monday afternoon, Kaarma’s attorney, Paul Ryan, portrayed his client as a homeowner intent on protecting his wife and baby – and frustrated by the police department’s inability to solve the recent burglaries.

“He took the steps that no one wants to take and shot,” Ryan said. “It wasn’t his intent to kill because he didn’t know who was in there, and where the person was, and what was in the person’s hands as far as weapons.”

“It was a split second,” Ryan said. “It happened very quickly, and unfortunately a young man lost his life.” 

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