Skip to main content

tv   Dateline  MSNBC  December 16, 2018 2:00am-3:01am PST

2:00 am
heather's gym friends, they find comfort in knowing that before her death, heather achieved that remarkable journey. becoming the person she was always meant to be. >> she got to experience back before she left this earth. she got to experience as beautiful as she was inside and out. >> that dance class where heather spread her wings still keeps a place for her. i'm craig melvin and i'm natalie morales. >> this is "dateline". >> he was the new kid in town. super popular. all about adventure. >> he was awesome. >> he just jumped into the culture. >> liked the show off a little bit for the girls. >> they were the neighbors, just down the block, a family in fear. >> they had had their vehicles
2:01 am
broke into. she was scared. >> someone had been sneaking into their home and now someone was in their garage. >> i'm sitting there panicking. >> someone got shot. >> that charismatic kid, dead on the floor. >> it's terrible. >> what had happened in that garage that night. >> it was just like the last person that would come to my mind. >> a neighbor protecting his home or preparing a trap. >> makes the statement, it's showtime. >> it's showtime. >> a teenager, a father, a murder. no one would be the same. >> we were all taken aback. >> welcome to "dateline." he came to america as an adventurous exchange student. but took one risk too many and it cost him his life.
2:02 am
was his death a case of a homeowner protecting his family and property, or something far more deliberate. here's deadly exchange. >> it's a dilemma that confronts every teenager. how to simultaneously fit in with your friends and rebel against everyone else. that's made a little bit easier by the knowledge or the certainty that you're going to live forever. >> kids do dumb stuff all the time. >> so sneaking out of the house in the dead of night to meet other teenagers to drink, party, and just hang out, well, that's nothing new. usually teens sneak back home safely. this wasn't one of those times. >> i just couldn't believe it, really. >> i was just freaking out. i was like, it can't be. it can't be. >> it was april 2014 when two
2:03 am
bright foreign exchange students living in montana slipped out of their home. >> he's face down and barely breathing. >> minutes later, their american adventure came to a sudden and tragic end. >> where is he bleeding from? >> everywhere. >> no one ever knew that someone would die over it. >> it was just the worst thing that could have ever happened to us. >> it all began so differently. a dream come true. he was an exchange student from germany. excited to soak up anything and everything american. at 17, he landed in a special corner of the west, montana. >> he was definitely charismatic. >> they were three of his closest friends at big sky high school. >> he was way different than other all the foreign exchange students that usually come.
2:04 am
he was really outspoken and outgoing and he just jumped right into the culture. >> he wanted to do everything there was to do. >> and he was a terrific athlete. >> it was no consequence that the teacher who recruited him to big sky also happened to be the school's soccer coach. >> no holds bar, just go get it done and when he played, that's how he played. the guys were immediately like this guy is cool. >> he's like a pretty stocky kid. >> he was tough, for sure. he threw down. >> and according to his friends, his soccer skills and his good looks definitely helped him with the opposite sex. >> he was always talking to girls. >> a man of the world. >> exactly. >> the other soccer girls always said that he would never miss a chance to take his shirt off
2:05 am
when he was running around the field because they knew he was going to put on a show for him. >> he lived with his host parents randy and kate in the prospect neighborhood. a hilly subdivision. >> just such a terrific kid. you could see that right off the bat. >> he called you mom and dad? >> he did. he became our son. there's no doubt about it. >> but he was more than just a fun kid. he was engaged in the world. >> this was not your typical american teenager that wants to talk about sports stars and maybe the latest fashion. >> no, not at all. >> it was so what do you think about the situation in the ukraine, you know? >> by the end of the school year in 2014, he had a solid circle of friends. he was tightest with another exchange student, this one from ecuador. >> we had so many things in common, same personality with
2:06 am
the same wishes and dreams. >> they were a package deal. >> you see one, you're going to see the other. >> right. >> saturday, april 26th, 2014 was no different. >> the boys spent the evening playing video games and listening to music in randy and kate's basement. >> i went down 10:30 or so that night and told them maybe crank the music volume down a little bit. >> but around midnight, he was bored, restless and suggested he and robbie take a walk. >> it was kind of, i'm just really tired. he said come on. okay. so while kate and randy slept upstairs, they slipped out the back door for a walk around the neighborhood. they headed up the nearby hill and then turned on to deer canyon road. then robbie says he suddenly walked off in a different direction. he lost sight of him.
2:07 am
i continue walking. he says he called out, but there was no answer so he kept walking figuring he'd catch up. >> that's when i heard someone yelling you're there, i see you there. something like that. after that just shots. like three or four shots. and i just started running. >> gunshots in a quite residential neighborhood. a now terrified robbie ran back home. >> he was faster than i am. i said he's probably coming. i was almost sure that he was coming. but he wouldn't return and what happened to the german exchange student would simultaneously make headlines around the world and get americans asking how far can you go to protect your home and family? >> coming up. >> 911, what are you reporting? >> a robbery. >> an urgent call to 911.
2:08 am
somebody entered into our garage and shots were fired. >> when dateline continues. the beautiful thing about care, is knowing that it's always there... ...and that it always will be. ♪ walgreens. trusted since 1901
2:09 am
2:10 am
it's just a cough. yeah right, and i was born yesterday. (indistinct announcement over pa system) i'm a baby! what? treat your cough seriously
2:11 am
with robitussin dm max. it soothes in seconds and delivers fast, powerful cough relief for hours. robitussin. because it's never just a cough. sunday morning was less than an hour old and the sound of gunshots ricochetted from the prospect neighborhood. >> 911, what are you reporting?
2:12 am
>> a robbery. >> okay. and what's going on? >> somebody entered into our garage and shots were fired. >> someone just got shot. >> a robbery was rare in prospect, and a shooting was unheard of. dash cams captured the chaos as first responders raced to the scene. >> stop, stop. >> it was all happening just a few hundred feet from where the foreign exchange student lived with his host family. >> i woke up with a start. heard four loud pops, bang, bang, bang, you know, fairly close together and then a pause and then another bang. then he heard the sirens and got out of bed. >> so i went downstairs just to make sure that i could lay my hands on them. >> he came downstairs with me and said where is he? he said he didn't know. >> he didn't know? >> i thought that was kind of
2:13 am
weird and i looked in the rec room and didn't see him so i came back to him and i said what's going on. >> he said they sneaked out. he told randy how he walked off on his own. and then robbie said he heard gunshots. alarmed, randy woke up his wife and the three of them went to deer canyon road. >> how far away from your house is this? >> 80 yards, directly above. it's the next street above us. >> so this is a neighbor's house. >> it's a neighbor's house. >> but when they got there police stopped them. >> we were just hoping he would walk out somewhere. show up and come out the door. >> i walked up to the police officer, gave him a name and description and that's when she kind of went, well, just wait here for a second and then came back and said, i think you guys need to go to the hospital and
2:14 am
that it wasn't good. and as soon as she said that i thought, gosh, we just passed an ambulance running up there and he must have been in the ambulance. >> what happened on that quite street? did they stumble into a burglary in progress? or some violent home invasion? the police asked robbie to answer some questions while kate and randy rushed to the hospital. >> it wasn't long after we got there that the e.r. doctor came out and explained that his wounds were fatal and he was no longer alive. >> terrible feeling. >> it was horrible. i went outside the hospital many times and just screamed. we lost our son too.
2:15 am
sorry. when we brought us in to identify his body, it was horrific. looking at his beautiful body no longer complete. it was terrible. i think i screamed for hours. >> he would never make it to his 18th birthday. >> i thought it was a joke. i was like there's no way possible. nothing like this has remotely happ happened here growing up. so it was just obviously a shock. >> it was just like the last person that would come to my mind i guess. >> his soccer coach assumed whatever happened to his soccer player, it wasn't his fault. >> i'm trying to imagine, did he go to a party and get shot by another kid? was he downtown and got in a scuffle? i didn't understand. >> so what did happen? police on the scene quickly concluded only one person was
2:16 am
shot, the intruder mentioned in that 911 call. >> who got shot. >> the robber. >> he's badly injured. >> so they entered your garage and who shot him? >> my husband. >> and cops quickly learned something those that thought they knew him well could scarcely imagine. he wasn't a random innocent victim. the young exchange student was the apparent opposite. he was the burglar. >> someone is trying to break into your car right now. >> police were about to hear a story from the man holding the gun that night. a story of terror and a family under siege. >> we have been sketched out. we don't feel safe. i'm on edge about everything. >> two frightened homeowners victimized two times before. what had happened inside that garage? >> coming up. >> i'm sitting there panicking, you know. like he's coming at me. >> when dateline continues. ranc.
2:17 am
but let's be honest. nobody likes dealing with insurance. see, esurance knows it's confusing. i literally have no idea what i'm getting. i don't know either. i'm just the spokesperson. but that's why they're making it simple - so that even actors, like us, can understand it. i'm not an actor. i'd love to tell you more but i only have thirty seconds. so here's a dramatic shot of their tagline so you'll remember it. when insurance is simple, it's surprisingly painless.
2:18 am
2:19 am
2:20 am
a high school exchange student from germany had been shot and killed during an apparent burglary inside a neighbor's garage now he was dead and police were investigating. >> does that happen a lot here?
2:21 am
people shoot burglars in their home? >> no, it doesn't. guy baker had the case. soon he was interviewing the man that pulled the trigger. >> hi, marcus. >> the homeowner was marcus, he and his common law wife had just moved there. they were looking for a quite, safe, and kid-friendly place to raise their child. police spoke with them at the scene and recorded their talk with him at the station. >> so we want to talk about what happened tonight at your house. >> the couple told investigators the story actually began with a burglary three weeks earlier. and then just ten days after that, the burglars returned. >> somebody had trespassed in their vehicles and in their garage which was unlocked. >> cash, credit cards and a cell phone were taken. the couple filed a police report, but the burglaries
2:22 am
remained unsolved. now marcus said he feared they were being targeted. >> we had pretty much been living in fear, and it sucks. and to know that we're being watched and targeted and knowing how hard it is for you guys to actually catch a burglar with no evidence. >> thomas said they no longer felt safe in their own home and were terrified they would be robbed again. >> we have been sketched out. we don't feel safe. i'm on edge about everything. >> the couple even e-mailed their neighbors to warn them about the string of burglaries and to suggest everyone lock their cars and garages. >> having somebody burglarize you is a terrible feeling, and it does leave people feeling violated and angry. >> yes. i would agree. >> so that's not uncommon for people to be upset and extremely vigilant after a burglary. >> i would agree it's not. >> the more time that passed with the burglars at large, the more fearful they became.
2:23 am
in part because he was a seasonal firefighter and would have to travel for work soon leaving mother and child alone for months. >> she was scared that marcus was going to be going off on a seasonal employment here soon. >> so he told police his wife decided to put together a homemade security system that would warn them if another intruder showed up. >> motion sensor one, motion sensor two. >> she placed the baby monitor on the east wall of the garage. >> the video baby monitor. >> once the alert sounded due to the motion detector, then they could see what the baby monitor could see. >> all of that was connected to a smartphone app so when the motion senators were triggered an alert would allow them to view live video of their garage. that saturday night they were trying to relax after putting their son to bed. >> i had recorded the movie
2:24 am
lincoln and we were watching that. about a third of the way through that, i'm not sure what the time was, it was dark outside, but we went outside and had a smoke in the garage like we always do. we would open the garage door for it to air out. >> but 5 minutes later an alert from the motion sensors, someone was in the driveway. an intruder. perhaps the same one that targeted them before. these photor are from the home security system. that's him entering the garage. marcus says he grabbed a loaded shotgun he had for protection. >> i'm sitting there with the shotgun in my hand and i'm staring at the lock on the front door and i can't tell if it's locked or unlocked and i'm starting to shake at that point. the adrenaline's coming like oh my god, these guys actually came back to my house. >> he said his wife stayed back while he went out the front door and turned toward the garage. >> a few quick steps around my
2:25 am
front and saw where my truck was parked. that's where i stood. and then she flipped on the light. >> he told detectives he was blinded by the sudden light and realized the only way for the intruder to get away was to go past him. >> then i heard something move, like a piece of metal hit the cement, either that or a piece of metal hit a piece of metal. it sounded like either a metal wrench being picked up or maybe the axes. >> so marcus says he did the only thing he could to protect himself. immediately i fired high up into the right corner of the garage. here i am looking at my garage. i think i in total, four rounds were shot all directly 1, 2, 3, 4. >> if i live in montana, what right do i have to shoot someone
2:26 am
that has entered into my house. >> you have the right to use any force necessary in defense of yourself. >> okay. but i mean, this was a burglar who had broken in. you don't know who he is. you know it's somebody that you don know and they have crossed that invisible line from outdoors to indoors and they are by that definition alone, i would say, a threat to me. >> well, you have to be able to articulate the threat. >> he told investigators there was a real threat. the garage was full of tools an intruder could grab and use against him. >> i imagine an axe flying through the air and hitting me in the skull. >> he was positive he heard that scraping sound moments before he fired the shotgun. i'm describing the sound when what's entering my head is i'm going to die. >> to hear him tell it, he faced down a threat. it was kill or be killed.
2:27 am
the young soccer star that was by now in the morgue must have had a darker side that many didn't see. detectives decided to dig deeper into the lives of both him and the man that shot him. what they learned would only deepen this mystery. >> coming up, true or false, he was committing a crime. >> he was. >> but was he the only one breaking the law? >> he said she makes the statement, it's showtime. >> it's showtime. >> exactly. >> there would be anger and astonishment on both sides when dateline continues. ere, like... i know what a bath is smile honey this thing is like... first kid ready here we go by their second kid, every parent is an expert and... ...more likely to choose luvs, than first time parents. live, learn and get luvs
2:28 am
the cold and flu fightings. machine. you put in your machine. press the button to brew up powerful relief. to defeat your toughest cold and flu symptoms fast. new theraflu powerpods. press. sip. relief. i'm at this wing joint telling people that geico has been offering savings for over 75 years. that's longer than the buffalo wing's been around. dozen wings. and did you know that geico... (lips smacking) offers mo... (coughing) motorcycle insurance? ho-ho... my lips are burning.
2:29 am
(laughs) ah... no, my lips are actually burning. geico. over 75 years of savings and service. see how much you could save at it's too hot. oh, this is too hot, mate. get stronger... get closer. start listening today to the world's largest selection of audiobooks on audible. and now, get more. for just $14.95 a month, you'll get a credit a month good for any audiobook, plus two audible originals exclusive titles you can't find anywhere else.
2:30 am
if you don't like a book, you can exchange it any time, no questions asked. automatically roll your credits over to the next month if you don't use them. with the free audible app, you can listen anytime, and anywhere. plus for the first time ever, you'll get access to exclusive fitness programs a $95 value free with membership. start a 30-day trial today and your first audiobook is free. cancel anytime and your books are yours to keep forever. audible. the most inspiring minds. the most compelling stories. text "listen5" to 500500 to start your free trial today. another white house departure. interior secretary ryan zinke will be leaving his post at the end of the year. the former montana congressman
2:31 am
is amid multiple ethics probes. >> the death of a 7-year-old girl in u.s. border patrol custody. she died of dehydration and shock after being detained along side her father at the u.s.-mexico border. now back to dateline. welcome back. homeowner marcus carter told police his story that he was living in a state of fear but his answers raised more questions. what really happened in that garage and what was he doing there in the first place? to find out the truth, they needed to learn more about the german exchange student. here again is josh. >> he was killed in a neighbor's garage, he was just two months away from returning to his family in germany.
2:32 am
the man that shot him said he feared for his life and from his best friend robby police learned he did enter the garage to steal. he described he was not the first kid to go sneaking into unlocked garages. he says they weren't after money, credit cards or valuables, this stunt happened often enough that it had a name, garage hopping and the target was usually beer. >> the reason for garage hopping or garage shopping, i've heard it called both was for kids to go in and look for alcoholic beverages that they could easily get and take. >> until this shooting that wasn't on anybody's radar in law enforcement. >> no, i had not heard of garage hopping. >> these friends say they had never gone garage hopping but they know all about it. >> you all know people that do it or have done it. >> yeah. >> they understand it's illegal. >> yeah. >> but it seemed harmless.
2:33 am
>> they're like, hey, dude, this is a way for you to get some extra beer when you're on a saturday night. >> did you think to yourself, you know, oh my god we didn't know how dangerous that could be. >> no one knew. no one would be like don't walk into that garage, you never know if someone is going to shoot you. >> he told police he had done it before but never taken cash or valuable property. >> he wasn't a criminal. he was a kid trying to have fun and fit in doing what the other guys do. trying to be part of them. >> was it really that innocent? true or false, he was committing a crime? >> he was. >> entering somebody else's home, even their garage is a crime. >> yes. >> even if the door is open. >> yes. >> and if his life was threatened, he had the right to shoot, didn't he? >> but as police went over his story about what happened just before the confrontation,
2:34 am
something stood out. he was describing how his wife first noticed somebody was in their garage. >> she was like showtime. i see something. flashlight. >> he said she makes the statement it's show time. >> it's show time. >> suggesting what? that they have been getting ready for this all night. >> that seemed like a very interesting statement to me. it's showtime. >> it didn't seem to fit with someone claiming to be terrified in his own home. then he told police he took his time going out to confront the intruder. i stood up off the couch and just kind of slowly walked over toward the front door, and she's like hold on, hold on. >> all of which might make you wonder, with all that time to think, why not just stay inside, lock the doors, and call police. >> i think the easiest thing that could have been done is once they were aware someone was outside being alerted by the
2:35 am
tones on their phone, to call 911. >> and while he said he feared for his life, police found no weapon, no axe or tool near the body. the teenager was unarmed. and another red flag, he said he couldn't see into the garage. the cops talked to the doctors that treated him and they examined the shotgun patterns from the garage wall. >> he said he can't see anything yet he's able to track a moving person in the garage and he hits him two out of four times. i didn't believe he is just randomly shooting from right to left. >> you're thinking to yourself this doesn't look like a justifiable shooting. >> no, at this point it looks like a homicide. >> the county attorneys office agreed. detective baker delivered the news. >> so we just talked to the prosecutor.
2:36 am
she wants you to be taken into custody. so that's what is going to happen. >> for what? >> for homicide. >> seemingly stunned, he borrowed the detective's phone to call janelle. >> hey. i'm being charged with murder. >> you're joking. >> no. >> he was pretty surprised. >> yeah. he was surprised and he was very emotional at that point. that's the most i saw marcus be emotional during this whole investigation. >> the host parents had a tangle of emotions as they processed what police said had happened. >> not the kid we knew. we wouldn't expect that. >> they were disappointed with his actions but livid. >> i just got more angry and more angry that that happened. who thinks like that? >> just why?
2:37 am
it was the why at that point. why would someone feel compelled to do this? >> he faces a deliberate homicide charge for killing a 17-year-old german exchange student. >> many were outraged that a homeowner could be arrested for defending his family and property. >> some people were like well, of course i could shoot somebody in my home. that was definitely in the very beginning of the case. i received a lot of angry phone calls from people. a lot of people were afraid this would intrude on their own rights to protect their home with a gun and their own gun rights. >> the german press also followed the story closely. their take echoed the thoughts of many in this country that he was the victim of an american cowboy culture that glorifies gun violence. >> they were incredulous that somebody could just shoot somebody for coming into their
2:38 am
house. they just didn't understand how that worked in montana. >> but this was america, not germany. aren't you allowed to protect yourself? your home? your family? was even that on trial now? they were about to collide. >> coming up, battle lines are drawn. >> then i heard the kid yelling, no, no, no, no, no please. >> did he plead for his life? when dateline continues. ions to the nightclub here. and if you get lost, just hit me on the old horn. man: tom's my best friend, but ever since he bought a new house... tom: it's a $10 cover? oh, okay. didn't see that on the website. he's been acting more and more like his dad. come on, guys! jump in! the water's fine! tom pritchard. how we doin'? hi, there. tom pritchard. can we get a round of jalapeño poppers for me and the boys, please? i've been saving a lot of money with progressive lately, so... progressive can't protect you from becoming your parents. but we can protect your home and auto when you bundle with us.
2:39 am
but when i started seeing things, i didn't know what was happening... so i kept it in. he started believing things that weren't true. i knew something was wrong... but i didn't say a word. during the course of their disease around 50% of people with parkinson's may experience hallucinations or delusions. but now, doctors are prescribing nuplazid. the only fda approved medicine... proven to significantly reduce hallucinations and delusions related to parkinson's. don't take nuplazid if you are allergic to its ingredients. nuplazid can increase the risk of death in elderly people with dementia-related psychosis and is not for treating symptoms unrelated to parkinson's disease. nuplazid can cause changes in heart rhythm and should not be taken if you have certain abnormal heart rhythms or take other drugs that are known to cause changes in heart rhythm. tell your doctor about any changes in medicines you're taking. the most common side effects are swelling of the arms and legs and confusion. we spoke up and it made all the difference. ask your parkinson's specialist about nuplazid.
2:40 am
2:41 am
♪ she's doing it again no cover up spray here... cheaper aerosols can cover up odors, burying them in a flowery fog. switch to febreze air effects! febreze eliminates even the toughest odors from the air. freshen up, don't cover up. febreze. (waves crashing) excedrin sees your relentless, pounding headache even if no one else can. it's why we focus only on headaches. nothing works faster. we see your pain and what's possible without it. excedrin extra strength.
2:42 am
8 months after his death, marcus went on trial for his murder. seeking justice for their son, his parents travelled from germany to a montana courtroom where they were be friefriended the same group of kids that loved their boy. >> a lot of us got the chance to meet his parents. they were awesome. they were a lot like him. >> their parents watched as the man that shot their son faced the charge of deliberate homicide. the defense team lead by attorney paul ryan, that was outright excessive. >> he was a man that was fearful. >> he layed out a basic narrative. marcus, twice a victim of burglars reasonably thought he was another one and dangerous. >> he thought that he was dealing with drug-seeking type individuals that were erratic and who knows how they were going to respond. >> he told the jury his client
2:43 am
had reason to believe he was armed and ready to attack. >> and because he felt his life was threatened by the movement specifically, he had to take the steps unfortunately to take his life. >> the danger of a burglar is when there's a confrontation and they all want to escape, they'll do whatever they can to get away. >> there was no debate over one fact, he went into that garage to steal. and on the stand, his lawyer got his friend robby to admit that despite warnings, he didn't see much wrong with garage hopping. >> i think he never felt like it was a crime. >> but you were warning him. you were telling him it wasn't right, it was reckless. it was dangerous. >> i understand but he maybe didn't understand. >> in fact, the friend suggested that he was part of a local burglary ring that was stealing
2:44 am
more than just beer and may have been behind the previous break ins at the house. >> they all knew each other. all went to big sky. >> the defense attorney argued the police never really investigated those burglaries at his house. and with no arrests, his client was left in a fearful, agitated state. a psychiatrist diagnosed it was high magnitude stress. >> your body changes dramatically as far as how you react to things, fight or flight and while some people may have retreated or called the police or whatever he came forward and confronted the individual. >> can't control it. >> the defense said he felt threatened in his home and was within his legal rights to shoot. >> the legislature has made decisions that it should be easier to protect yourself within your house.
2:45 am
i never asked you to like the law, you have to follow the law. >> defense attorney ryan insisted that he was guilty of nothing more than protected his family. this is your house. you defend it within your house as you choose to defend it. >> by the time the defense rested, those closest to him felt that the lawyers redefined what this case was about. >> a lot of the stuff that i heard made him sound like some sort of just foreigner that came here to like stir the pot and make trouble and actually -- >> and commit crimes. >> right. >> but to the prosecutors, the real criminal in this case was marcus who was, plain and simple, a murder. >> the fact is that the defendant was angry and vengeful. he knew that it was a kid coming in his garage.
2:46 am
he has his 12 gauge in his hand and he waits. >> to counter the defense's suggest that he was apart of some ring of thieves targeting him, investigators tracked down the teens who had hit his garage. the ones that took the cash, credit cards and. >> he had a bong and weed and some alcohol. >> did you know this man? >> not personally, no. >> to the best of your knowledge was he involved in a burglary ri ring? >> no. >> so did he really fear for his life that night? prosecutors said ballistics told the story. the first shot to hit him was to the back of his left arm, meaning he couldn't have been charging toward him. >> and then he has to do it one more time. he has to make that final blow. >> and the final shot was straight to the head. but prosecutors weren't done.
2:47 am
they had what they thought was explosive evidence. just before the trial began, a recording surfaced made the night of the shooting of a conversation an officer at the scene had with janelle. in it she reveals that just before the final shot, she heard him beg for his life. >> then i heard the kid yelling, no, no, no, no. please. and then -- but by then there was already a shot fired. >> and the prosecution said that after the shooting, he sounded like a man that was proud of himself. >> there's an article online already and the comments are all in your favor. >> really? >> this is a jailhouse phone call talking about the news coverage. >> why is he being charged? >> tomorrow morning will you buy 100 copies or something of the
2:48 am
paper? >> record the local news tonight on tv and keep the newspapers from tomorrow. >> he seemed to be very proud of that fact versus remorseful. >> but was this premeditated murder? the only other witness to the shooting was about to tell her story. coming up, a purse left as bait. >> the purse was for them to take. >> and one more revelation. >> he said he had been sitting up for three nights with a shotgun. >> a hairstylist is about to provide the most hair raising testimony of all. when dateline continues. the beautiful thing about care, is knowing that it's always there... ...and that it always will be. ♪
2:49 am
walgreens. trusted since 1901 with advil liqui-gels, what stiff joints? what bad back? advil is... relief that's fast. strength that lasts. you'll ask... what pain? with advil liqui-gels. thyou know what i do instead?eny your cravings. i snack on blue diamond almonds. wasabi & soy sauce?! mmm! don't deny your cravings. eat 'em! all the flavors you crave, in a superfood. blue diamond almonds. crave victoriously.
2:50 am
saved an average of $412," syou probably won't believe me. but you can believe this, real esurance employee nancy abraham. look her up online. esurance, it's surprisingly painless.
2:51 am
2:52 am
welcome back to "dateline." marcus' defense had tried to paint a man with rights when he tried to shoot a teenager. now it was the prosecution's turn to convince the jury that he was a man without revenge, and they had video that they thought could show his action in a new light. here's a conclusion of a deadly exchange. >> marcus was on trial for killing an unarmed teenager in his garage. the prosecution was about to argue that not only was the shooting unjustified, it was planned, premeditated murder. to prove it, they put the defendant's wife, janelle flager, on the stand, as a reluctant key witness.
2:53 am
janelle told the jury the same thing she and the defendant had said all along. they were living in fear of intruders. >> literally every day i was, like, paranoid or something. i was looking over my shoulder all the time and worried all the time. >> so why did they leave their garage door wide open on the day of the shooting? especially after they had warned their neighbors to keep their garages locked? janelle said they smoked cigarettes in the garage and wanted to air it out. >> i believe that it would be my right to have my garage door open to air out for a few minutes at a time. >> the prosecution argued that janelle and her husband left the garage door open on purpose, because they were setting a trap. janelle denied it but admitted she deliberately left her purse in the garage with items in it that could be traced back to her. the prosecution said that was
2:54 am
bait. >> you wanted to catch him, that's why you left the purse? >> the purse was for them to take so they didn't come into the house so i could call the police and say, here is something traceable. >> so an open door and a purse in plain sight. the prosecutors said janelle and her husband set the stage, then waited and watched, so when darren walked in, they weren't scared, they were excited. >> it's like, showtime. >> on the stand janelle denied saying those words. >> do you remember saying, "showtime" when you saw something outside? >> no, i don't remember saying that. >> in court janelle also changed her story about what she heard in the garage that night, now denying that dearen had been pleading for his life. >> then i heard the kids yelling, no, no, no, no, please.
2:55 am
>> your testimony here today is that you never heard him say a word? >> right. >> i sort of think janelle didn't do you any favors on the witness stand? >> no. she didn't. >> she denied something that could be played on tape? >> no, and that sometimes doesn't work out too well for the defense. >> why wasn't janelle charged in this? >> in her statement, she wanted to catch the burglars. she wanted to identify them. >> reporter: prosecutors said they had no evidence that they knew her husband was going to harm someone. so what was marcus thinking? the prosecution brought in some witnesses to say that the shooting was nothing but a planned execution. >> he said he had been waiting up all night just to shoot the kids. >> he got his hair cut the day
2:56 am
before the shooting. she said karma came in ranting about his chilling plan to kill them. >> i said, oh, my gosh. did you call the police? he said the [ bleep ] police will not do anything about it. then he had mentioned that he wouldn't mind if a couple did come by because he wouldn't mind shooting a couple of them also. >> her coworker told the jury she heard it, too. >> he was going to kill them. take care of it. >> did he use those words, take care of it? >> i think it was fix it. >> do you recall him saying anything else? >> he said, i'm not kidding. you're seriously going to see this on the news. >> it's intent to kill, right. he's announcing it. >> he's lying in wait. >> and he's telling them, you wait and see. you're going to see this on the news. >> that's a defense attorney's nightmare is testimony that your client told somebody else, i'm
2:57 am
going to commit this crime, and then they're later charged with that crime? >> correct. >> as the trial came to an end, dearen's friends gathered to support his visiting parents. >> there was a huge group of kids who went to the closing statements, so we went to support them on the last days. we filled up the seats with i don't know how many kids. >> a tree in front of our house became essentially the memorial for dearen and more and more things showed up. we felt more and more loved by missoula than we ever had because they were trying to show support for us. >> but missoula was trying to follow the law and nothing else. here's how it played out. >> what the defendant believed at the time he shot and killed darren deed was not reasonable and was with deadly force necessary. that's your issue. >> jurors went to deliberate.
2:58 am
and after eight hours over two days, they returned to court. >> we, the jury, find the defendant, marcus hendrik karma, guilty. [ cheers ] >> the courtroom erupted in relief. his parents still felt raw over his death. >> nothing brings darren back, so it's heartbreaking someone felt compelled to do this. >> would you be host to another foreign exchange student? >> no. my heart is too broken. i couldn't do it. >> two months after the verdict, marcus karma addressed dearen dede's family at the hearing. >> i took another man's life, and i'm sorry i can't change that. i did what i felt was necessary to my family and myself.
2:59 am
i hope no one ever finds themselves in my position. >> the judge sentenced him to 70 years in prison. >> i almost wish he had never said sorry because it was so empty and his face had just no expression. it was scary, almost like we were all taken aback, and i was like, take it back. there was no meaning in that. >> and they say garage hopping is no longer popular. >> have attitudes changed about all that since then? >> of course. >> i haven't heard a thing about it since. >> it's unheard of. >> now it is. >> yeah. >> dearen's friends are hoping people will forget the one deadly mistake dearen made and remember instead the bright, charming guy they loved. >> you know, you're all pretty young to have to go through this. do you feel like this has changed you? >> yeah. 100%, yeah. every day you wake up and you think, obviously something like that could happen, and you need
3:00 am
to, like, do things that matter. >> does life seem a little more precious now? >> he's encouraging us to do a lot of things, and i think he's still pushing us. that's all for this edition of "dateline." i'm craig melvin. thank you for watching. i'm craig melvin. >> and i'm natalie morales. >> and this is "dateline." i'm freaking out. i walk in and my sister is not there. her door is open, her lights are on, her bed is undone. everything was horrible. then i felt it. >> she had been fearless on the front lines in iraq. >> pretty amazing. i saw her as, like, a really strong soldier. >> but something had her terrified at home. >> i'm scared. i don't feel safe. >> a


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on