Police Procedures Expert Witness Testifies In Castle Doctrine Case

Police procedures expert witness Ron Martinelli, Ph.D., B.C.F.T., C.F.A., C.L.S., testified in the Missoula, MT, homicide case against Markus Kaarma. The defendant is accused of fatally shooting German foreign exchange student, Diren Dede. The 17 year old was in Kaarma’s garage allegedly looking for alcohol when he was shot and killed.

Dr. Martinelli’s testimony described flaws in the investigation and said if he were investigating the case, “there was much more work that needed to be done before they made their decision” in charging Kaarma. He went on to say that officers charged Kaarma precipitously and then worked to “make the evidence fit the charge.”

Dede was not armed but Montana’s stand-your-ground law makes it easier for defendants to avoid prosecution in a shooting if they felt an imminent danger at the time of the incident.

Wikipedia explains: In the United States, stand-your-ground law states that an individual has no duty to retreat from any place they have lawful right to be and may use any level of force, including lethal, if they reasonably believe they face an imminent and immediate threat of serious bodily harm or death. Forty-six U.S. states have adopted the castle doctrine, stating that a person has no duty to retreat when their home is attacked.