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Markus Kaarma, convicted last week of murdering a 17-year-old exchange student in his Grant Creek garage, will ask for release on bail at a Christmas Eve hearing.

Kaarma will appear before Missoula District Court Judge Ed McLean at 2 p.m. Wednesday, seeking release pending his February sentencing.

Jurors found Kaarma guilty of deliberate homicide in the April 27 death of Diren Dede. Kaarma had been free on a $30,000 bond pending his trial, but was jailed after his Dec. 17 conviction.

Immediately upon hearing the guilty verdict, Kaarma's attorneys asked for the bail hearing. Sentencing is currently scheduled for Feb. 12.

A deliberate homicide conviction calls for a sentence of between 10 and 100 years in prison.

Kaarma's attorneys have said they plan to appeal the conviction. They argued at trial that Kaarma had the legal right to use deadly force to protect his property and family from intruders.

Prosecutors, however, said Kaarma and his partner set a trap to entice would-be burglars into their garage after they lost drugs and drug paraphernalia to thieves in mid-April. 

Dede, a foreign exchange student at Big Sky High School, lived nearby with his Missoula host family. He and a friend were taking a late-night walk when Dede entered Kaarma's garage.

Moments later, alerted by a baby monitor positioned in the garage, Kaarma emerged from his home with a pump action shotgun. He fired into the darkened garage, hitting Dede once in the arm, then firing the fatal shot into the teenager's head.

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