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Missoula judge scolds Kaarma attorney

Edward O'Brien

Missoula County District Court Judge Ed McLean today laid it out in no uncertain terms  to Markus Kaarma's lead attorney, Paul Ryan:

"I don't want any playing to the public. We have serious business at hand and it's not the time to run  a public relations campaign, so knock it off."

McLean was referring to the announcement that tomorrow morning, in Missoula's Caras Park, Ryan's law firm would host a live screening of the World Cup soccer match between the United States and Germany.

Ryan's firm represents Kaarma, who's accused of shooting and killing 17-year-old German exchange student, Diren Dede. 

Kaarma says the shooting in May was in self-defense as he caught Dede and another exchange student rummaging through his garage.

The other student who is from Ecuador, Robby Pazmino, was not injured. 

Ryan has confirmed to Montana Public Radio that tomorrow's World Cup viewing party is now canceled:

"I can understand how people could potentially view it that way (a PR campaign). If you saw how it progressed through the week, it was more about the excitement of U.S. Soccer; but certainly if we've offended anybody or created any distress, we apologize for that."

Kaarma's trial is set to begin January 5 in Missoula.

O’Brien first landed at Montana Public Radio three decades ago as a news intern while attending the University of Montana School of Journalism. His first career job out of school was covering the 1995 Montana Legislature. When the session wrapped up, O’Brien was fortunate enough to land a full-time position at the station as a general assignment reporter. Feel free to drop him a line at
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