New Brighton couple charged in neighbor's shooting death plan to testify

  • Article by: CHAO XIONG , Star Tribune
  • Updated: July 21, 2014 - 9:32 PM

Neal and Paula Zumberge are charged in neighbor’s shooting death over deer; her trial begins Aug. 11.

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Neal C. Zumberge.

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A New Brighton husband and wife, each charged in the shooting death of a neighbor and the wounding of another over a feud about feeding deer, plan to testify at her trial next month.

Defense attorney Gary Wolf, who is representing Paula A. Zumberge, said at a hearing Monday that he plans to call her husband as a witness when she stands trial in August. Paula Zumberge will then take the witness stand herself, Wolf said.

The couple are charged with killing Todd G. Stevens, 46, and wounding his girlfriend of 18 years, Jennifer Cleven, 48, on May 5.

Authorities believe Neal C. Zumberge fired a semiautomatic shotgun at them from across the street while his wife allegedly shouted, “Shoot, shoot, shoot, keep shooting!”

Court records allege the Zumberge family was upset about Stevens’ habit of feeding deer. The dispute was fueled by the family’s apparent belief Neal had contracted Lyme disease from a deer tick.

Paula Zumberge, 50, is charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and attempted second-degree murder. Neal Zumberge, 57, is charged with second-degree murder with intent and attempted second-degree murder.

They are being tried separately. No trial date has been set for Neal Zumberge.

At Monday’s hearing, Ramsey County District Judge Lezlie Ott Marek asked Wolf about the likelihood that Neal Zumberge would testify.

“I’m fairly confident that he will testify,” Wolf said.

Paula Zumberge’s trial is scheduled to begin Aug. 11 and last seven or eight days.

 

Chao Xiong • 612-270-4708

Twitter: @ChaoStrib

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