Was This Man Killed Because He Was Feeding Deer?

A trial began this week for a husband and wife charged with multiple counts related to the death of a neighbor.

Paula Zumberge

Paula Zumberge

Paula Zumberge, 50, was to have taken the stand Wednesday to testify in her behalf as she faces charges of attempted second-degree murder, two counts of second degree assault, and aiding and abetting second-degree murder. Testimony Wednesday also was to include forensic evidence and home surveillance video.

But despite defense attorneys’ prior statements that she and her husband would testify, they changed their mind and did not.

Her charges, and those of her husband and alleged killer, Neal Zumberge, are related to the shooting death of a neighbor Zumberge and her husband say continually fed deer that attracted ticks that caused Neal Zumberge to contract Lyme disease. Police records show the neighbors had previous problems that had required law enforcement involvement.

 

Neal Zumberge

Neal Zumberge

Their neighbor, Todd G. Stevens, 46, died of two gunshot wounds sustained to his upper left chest and head. Stevens’ girlfriend, Jennifer Damerow-Cleven, 48, also allegedly was fired upon two times but was uninjured. 

Paula Zumberge is being tried first and separately from her husband in Ramsey County District Court in Minnesota. The shooting occurred May 5. Neal Zumberge, 57, will be tried later, and has been charged with second-degree murder with intent and attempted second-degree murder.

Paula Zumberge allegedly urged her husband to shoot Stevens, according to testimony by Damerow-Cleven. There was conflicting testimony about that, however. Testimony also indicated a conflict between the couples due to involvement of the Zumberge’s son, and that Damerow-Cleven had called police about him.

Check back here for more updates as the trial progresses.

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