First of 2 New Brighton deer feeding murder trials begins - KMSP-TV

First of 2 New Brighton deer feeding murder trials begins

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ST. PAUL, Minn. (KMSP) -

A deadly fight over feeding deer in a New Brighton, Minn. neighborhood has led to a murder trial that starts Monday morning in St. Paul. Paula and Neal Zumberge are being tried separately for murder.

Paula's trial is first, and she is expected to testify after her husband takes the stand as a witness.

The couple is charged with killing Todd Stevens and wounding his girlfriend, Jennifer Cleven, on May 5 outside their home on Knollwood Drive. Investigators believe Neal fired a semiautomatic shotgun at his neighbors across the street, while his wife yelled, “Shoot, shoot, shoot. Keep shooting."

Court records allege the dispute between the families had gone on for years. The Zumberge family was upset about Stevens' habit of feeding deer, drawing them into the neighborhood. They believed Neal had contracted Lyme disease from a deer tick.

The first piece of dramatic testimony on Monday came from Cleven, recalling the moment Neal Zumberge opened fire on the couple.

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

Paula Zumberge waived her right to a jury trial and has said she prefers a bench trial. Her trial is scheduled to end in about a week.

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