Why isn’t Janelle Pflager being Charged as an Accomplice?

By JC

Talking over the latest revelation with my German SO — after reading today’s news report in the Missoulian on the alleged deliberate homicide of German national Diren Dede — about German Consul Peter Rosen putting the Governor and prosecutors on notice that he expects that the law will be fully applied and he trusts that:

“justice will be done by not letting go unpunished the shooting of an unarmed juvenile … German penal law also applies for crimes committed against German nationals abroad, enabling German state prosecutors to open investigations in such cases.”

…it became painfully obvious that if Markus Kaarma’s charges for deliberate homicide hold, then why hasn’t his wife Janelle Pflager been charged as an accomplice or co-conspirator? The charging document contains enough evidence to implicate her, as she assisted in baiting the garage trap for the next burgler, set the motion detector and video surveillance system, took a photo on her phone camera once the surveillance had been tripped, and accompanied her husband out to the garage to shoot Diren Dede. It’s called “premeditation.”

My SO mentioned that in Germany they already are wondering why Pflager hasn’t been charged, and that as the German Consul noted, Germans can and will take the matters in their own hands and charge Pflager, and in case of an acquittal, Kaarma.

It would behoove Missoula prosecutors and city officials to look at the severity of this injustice and once Kaarma gets arraigned on Monday, May 12th in Missoula District Court, to assure that “justice will be done” and charge Pflager. If not, Montana’s reputation as a tourist destination to Europeans will definitely suffer when there is a trial in Germany for Kaarma and/or Pflager. Governor Bullock seems little concerned about the international attention such a trial might bring:

In response to a question, Bullock said he doesn’t believe international news coverage of the shooting will hurt Montana tourism, which last year experienced a record year. 

Unfortunately, that isn’t what Germans are thinking about Montana at the present. They already are dumbfounded that Pflager’s being an accomplice has been ignored by prosecutors and the press. Sad that our press and Governor need to look to the financial impact to the state when considering how to respond, or whom to charge. Or what the impact of an ugly extradition proceedings and foreign trial with all the accompanying media attention might have on their bottom line.

Of course, we only need to look at the impact of letting the actions of Grizzly football players dictate public relations for the University of Montana to know that no one will ever admit that the huge decline in students and associated budget cuts are a result of prosecutorial misconduct. Why would reactions to a murder trial be any different?

Castle Doctrine? There are real castles in Germany, and none of them are being used to justify the murder of unarmed teenagers, even if they are trespassing. Justice should be swift and merciful.


  1. petetalbot

    Bullock did the right thing by offering condolences to the Dede family. A full apology would be more appropriate but at least he addressed the unconscionable shooting of the exchange student.

    What shocks me is the lack of sympathy, condolences, apologies coming from our civic leaders in Missoula. The mayor, county commissioners, police chief, sheriff … really, everyone in a leadership position, should be condemning the shooting. I can think of numerous examples of public outrage at injustice in other communities: Laramie, Wyoming, after the murder of gay student Matthew Shepard or Billings, when citizens by the thousands put menorahs in their windows following a series of antisemitic attacks in the city. In Missoula, not that long ago, hundreds rallied after a lesbian couple’s house was torched.

    Where’s the outrage over the murder of Diren Dede?

  2. dg

    Engen’s emotions are vetted by his compaign crew and handlers; his publicist , Ms. Merriam, determined John should wait and see….. Jason Wiener will have an opinion– private over micro-brews– but never in public. Caitlyn Copple blames the shooting on the presence of a penis. David Stromaier will offer up an Episcopelian prayer but is running for office (again) and dare not have real opinions. Peter Talbot—absent from Occupy Missoula protests and No-Monsanto protests–forgets that true outrage not only has an emotional component but also requires one to leave the keyboard and take to the streets (or the microphone at City Council.)

  1. 1 Citigroup, Markus Kaarma, and Entitlement | 4&20 blackbirds

    […] like to point out that this trial is bringing up a question JC posed in a post back in May: Why isn’t Janelle Pflager being charged as an accomplice? That questions is again relevant as neighbor testimony paints a disturbing picture of […]




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