Transcript for Closing Arguments Expected in Murder Trial of Montanta Homeowner
trial of the Montana homeowner charged with killing a teenager in his garage. Closing arguments begin after the defense argued that Markus kaarma was defending himself. Neal Karlinsky has the story. Reporter: This morning jurors hear closing arguments and two very different versions of who each side says Markus kaarma is. A cold-blooded killer who stet a trap, or a frightened homeowner who killed German exchange student diren Dede while trying to protect his family. The defense rested its case Monday with this video of the moment that police told an emotional kaarma he would face murder charges. Rather than a ruthless killer who mistakenly got the kids, they portrayed him as a victim of bad police work, shaken up by the shooting. Is there something he did that would show you how shook up he was? Probably right before we left the scene, he had lit the filter end of his cigarette. Reporter: Earlier prosecutors played this police interrogation video in which he says it was his common law wife's idea to leave the garage partially open to bait a would be robbery. I told her how hard it is to catch a burglar in the act. I took the cameras down. You're asking for trouble. Fine, I'll do it myself. Reporter: And a recorded jailhouse conversation in which he contradicts his assumption that it was black. He faces up to life in prison if convicted. For "Good morning America," Neal Karlinsky, ABC news, Seattle. Dan Abrams. The defendant didn't take the stand, smart move? Not particularly surprising. Why? Because they introduced a statement he made to the plaolice and a recording with his conversation with his girlfriend from jail. He got to lay out what his position is. His position is that he thought, he says, that this kid had a weapon and he fired at him. That's the defense. No need to subject him to sufficient cross-examination. Sometimes in these kinds of cases, where the question isn't did he, but why. You do see the defendant testify. But when you have his testimony presented already in that form, no need. And the defense has an uphill climb because of the neighbor's testimony. It's really tough. If the jurors believe the neighbors who say that the girlfriend was talking about setting a trap, was talking about leaving their garage open, about leaving something to dangle there in the hope that a burglar would come so they could effectively get them. Boy. If the jurors believe that, then he's in big trouble. What's their best hope? Their best hope is, a, there are jurors who say to themselves, I'm tired of these break ins. I'm tired of people thinking they can rob our homes without there being ramifications. That's not a legal analysis. That's a who did you have on the jury analysis? That's the best hope they have. The defenses's attack on the police, that's not going anywhere. The question is are these jurors going to believe it was reasonable and necessary to shoot. I think is a practical matter, the question is are these jurors just angry at kids like the victim here. Thanks. And the weather from ginger.
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