New Brighton Husband and Wife Involved in Fatal Feud won't Testify

Updated: 08/13/2014 11:05 AM
Created: 08/12/2014 1:42 PM
By: Megan Matthews

The trial for a New Brighton woman charged in a deadly dispute with neighbors continues Wednesday.

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 charged with wounding Stevens’ girlfriend, 48-year-old Jennifer Cleven, in May.

Late Wednesday morning, Zumberge's attorney said neither Paula nor Neal will take the stand. That decision was made late Tuesday night. 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS was told earlier Tuesday that both were expected to take the stand Wednesday.

On the second day of the trial, attorneys showed autopsy photos of Stevens. The pictures showed several gunshot wounds, hitting the heart, brain, lungs and shoulder. Ramsey County Assistant Medical Examiner Dr. Victor Froloff took the stand, testifying Stevens bled to death from those gunshot wounds. Froloff says Stevens was shot from a distance with a shotgun.

A neighbor of the Zumberge family testified, saying he heard four shots fired but did not hear Paula Zumberge say “keep shooting, keep shooting.” Jennifer Cleven told investigators that Paula had encouraged her husband to shoot them.

Three police officers -- two from New Brighton, the other from Spring Lake Park -- also testified. The Spring Lake Park officer says he responded to an incident prior to the shooting where Cleven told him she was threatened by the son, Jacob Zumberge.

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.

Attorneys made their opening statements Monday, and a judge is expected to issue a ruling by the end of the month.

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