Trial Starts for Woman Involved in Fatal New Brighton Feud

Updated: 08/11/2014 10:12 PM
Created: 08/11/2014 7:11 AM
By: Jennie Olson

The trial for a New Brighton woman charged in a deadly dispute began Monday.

Fifty-year-old Paula Zumberge is charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and aiding and abetting second-degree attempted murder. Her husband, 57-year-old Neal Zumberge, is charged in the death of 46-year-old Todd Stevens and wounding Stevens’ girlfriend, 48-year-old Jennifer Cleven, back in May.

Neal Zumberge is expected to testify during the trial sometime this week.

A judge heard opening statements and is expected to issue a ruling by the end of the month.

Stevens and Cleven lived across the street from the Zumberges, and Neal Zumberge allegedly was angry with them for feeding deer passing through the neighborhood.

According to Cleven, Paula Zumberge was shouting at her husband to “keep shooting” during the incident.

Cleven told investigators that Paula Zumberge started the confrontation May 5 by yelling angrily. Damerow-Cleven testified that her boyfriend came outside to intervene, and Paula Zumberge encouraged her husband to shoot them.
Damerow-Cleven says there was a loud boom, and Stevens' last words were, "He shot me."

Officials say Stevens died of multiple gunshot wounds and likely bled to death in front of his home.

Neighbor Jennifer Bortel testified that Paula Zumberge was calm afterward as she got into her car and drove away.

Attorneys say there is video of the crime, which could be played in court Tuesday.

The Associated Press Contributed to this story.

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