Subscribe for 17¢ / day
Markus Kaarma's mother and Janelle Pflager

Markus Kaarma's mother, left, and partner, Janelle Pflager, wait for the jury's verdict Wednesday.

Janelle Pflager, the partner of the Missoula man who was convicted of murdering a teenage exchange student this week, will not face charges. 

"I have no evidence that she colluded or facilitated (Markus) Kaarma in murdering Diren," lead prosecutor Andrew Paul said during an impromptu news conference following a hearing Thursday. 

He added that during conversations with police officers after the shooting, Pflager expressed disbelief that Kaarma pulled the trigger. She bought a baseball bat for protection, whereas Kaarma brought out a loaded shotgun – ignoring her pleas to "be reasonable" about the situation, he said. 

"In order to charge her ... she would have to have the same intent," he said. 

After eight hours of deliberations, jurors found Kaarma guilty of deliberate homicide Wednesday afternoon.

The prosecution consistently argued that Pflager and Kaarma set a trap to ensnare would-be burglars after other teenagers stole an iPhone, marijuana and credit cards, among other items, from the couple's Grant Creek garage last April.

According to testimony, Pflager told neighbors they were going to "bait" burglars into the garage, and she left out an old purse with identifying material inside hoping it would be taken.  

She also purchased and installed the motion detectors outside the home and placed a baby monitor in the garage.

"Janelle is pretty hard to peg," Deputy Missoula County Attorney Karla Painter added. "This really wasn't her end plan. She certainly may have had some remorse." 

Painter said Pflager attempted to render aid to the dying teen, but "nothing makes me believe that (Kaarma) is sorry for what he did." 

Prosecutors also noted two pieces of evidence were critical to their case: the fact that Dede was shot twice, once in the arm and once in the head, and that there was a pause before Kaarma fired the fourth and fatal shot.

German prosecutors in Hamburg previously said they had opened an investigation of Kaarma, and Paul said Thursday he would have time to assist them in their inquiry now that the trial is over. 

"I expect that we will be able to communicate with them more in the future," he said. 

German law allows charges to be filed against foreign citizens who kill Germans while they are outside the country.

You must be logged in to react.
Click any reaction to login.