Castle Doctrine Sponsor Says Bill Doesn't Apply In Kaarma Trial - KFBB.com News, Sports and Weather

Castle Doctrine Sponsor Says Bill Doesn't Apply In Kaarma Trial

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  • Markus Kaarma Guilty of Murder

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    Thursday, December 18 2014 12:12 AM EST2014-12-18 05:12:04 GMT

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    While some burst into applause at the verdict, Dede's mother and host mother broke into tears.
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The man who helped the so-called Castle Doctrine become law in Montana says it doesn't apply to the Markus Kaarma case.

Montana's justifiable use of force statute was reworded during the 2009 legislative session.

Much of the trial hinged on the jury's interpretation of this law.

Krayton Kerns, a Republican State Representative from Laurel, sponsored the bill, HB 228.

It allows lethal force to defend an occupied structure. Even the judge in the Kaarma case made it clear to the jury before deliberations that a garage is considered an occupied structure.

Kerns says the key point missing in this case is the fear, fear for one's own life, someone else's, or severe bodily harm.

"I think it's kind of a stretch to say that fear could exist when it's my understanding he fired into the darkness into a garage, didn't even know what the target is, so how are you going to feel threatened by that target?" said Kerns.

More than 30 states have laws expanding the right of people to use deadly force to protect their homes or themselves.

Kerns says that he hopes the bill is not changed; he believes it is already well written.

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