Survivor in Deadly New Brighton Feud Speaks out after Ruling

Updated: 08/20/2014 7:25 AM
Created: 08/19/2014 11:20 AM
By: Joe Mazan

A New Brighton woman charged in a deadly dispute with neighbors has been found not guilty on all counts.  

Paula Zumberge was 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 shooting death of 46-year-old Todd Stevens and charged with wounding Stevens’ girlfriend, 48-year-old Jennifer Cleven, in May.

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.

The prosecution said Neal and Paul had reached a breaking point, and Paula played a key role in Stevens’ murder. She was to lure Stevens and Cleven out of the house so her husband, Neal, could start shooting.

The defense said Neal Zumberge is the murderer, and Paula can’t be blamed simply because she is married to Neal.

During the first two days of the trial neighbors testified. Most say they heard the shots fired but did not hear Paula tell her husband to “keep shooting.”

"She was guilty of something, and she walked away scot-free," Cleven told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS. "I know what happened, she knows what happened, God knows what happened. Everything I said was true. I don't believe with that verdict at all."

A fund has been set up to help Cleven offset the cost of her medical bills as she continues to recover from the shooting. Anyone who wishes to make a donation can do so at any TCF Bank by donating to the Jennifer D. Cleven Benefit Fund.

Neal’s trial is scheduled for Nov. 10 at 9 a.m.

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