MISSOULA, Montana (AP) — The law firm representing a U.S. man charged with killing a German exchange student in his garage canceled plans to host a live showing of the World Cup soccer match between the U.S. and Germany on Thursday.
Paul Ryan & Associates is representing Markus Kaarma, who is charged with shooting 17-year-old Diren Dede in May. Kaarma argues the shooting was in self-defense because the boy was in his garage.
Ryan told the Missoulian on Tuesday the game's showing at a park has nothing to do with Kaarma's defense, and he's considering canceling it after realizing people might make that connection.
"Honestly, that didn't cross my mind," Ryan said. "We were just excited about the game and we wanted to provide this to the community. I hope it doesn't turn into something negative. It's just a weird timing of the two teams that match up."
But District Judge Ed McLean on Wednesday told Ryan he should reconsider the community viewing of the World Cup match.
After the hearing, Ryan announced he was canceling the viewing party.
Kaarma is charged with deliberate homicide in Dede's shooting death.
Prosecutors alleged Kaarma set a trap to catch whoever had been breaking into his garage after thieves took marijuana, credit cards and a cellphone. He told a hairdresser that he had been waiting up nights to shoot a kid because he was frustrated about the thefts, while neighbors said he was behaving strangely in the hours before the shooting, court records said.
Two teens who had been arrested prior to the shooting later confessed to being responsible for the theft of the marijuana and other items, court records said. Those teens said Dede had nothing to do with the break-ins, court records said.
The judge tentatively set a Jan. 5 trial date.
Dede played soccer at a local school. His former team in Hamburg played a charity match to help his family pay for his funeral.
Information from: Missoulian, http://www.missoulian.com