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Wife of alleged New Brighton shooter now also charged with murder

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A New Brighton woman who allegedly urged her husband to keep firing his shotgun at their neighbors is now also charged with murder.

Paula Zumberge is charged in Ramsey County District Court with second-degree murder and attempted murder, which are the same charges Neal Zumberge faces.

Monday night's fatal shooting reportedly grew out of a feud that had been simmering for 15 years and revolved around the feeding of deer.

Authorities say Neal Zumberge (right) has admitted that he fatally shot Todd Stevens, who lived in a house across the street from his in New Brighton. He reportedly said he did not intend to shoot Jennifer Cleven, who also lived there. Cleven was injured but was released from a hospital Tuesday.

According to the criminal complaint Cleven told investigators that as she crawled into her home to call the police she heard Paula Zumberge yelling, "Shoot, shoot, shoot, keep shooting," as her husband continued to fire the shotgun.

The Star Tribune reports that a judge set bail at $1.5 million for Neal Zumberge. His wife turned herself in to police Thursday evening, the newspaper says.

According to the complaint, a neighbor who heard the gunshots and came outside saw a woman driving away from the Zumberge home in a white vehicle.

Fox 9 says each of the Zumberges faces up to 40 years in prison on the murder charge and up to 20 years for attempted murder.

Authorities say the shooting culminated a series of events that also involved the Zumberge's adult son, Jacob, who lives with his parents.

The Zumberges believed that Neal, 57, had contracted lyme disease from a deer tick carried to the neighborhood by animals visiting their neighbors' feeder. Jacob was wanted by police for allegedly threatening to burn down the home of Stevens and Cleven.

On Monday, authorities say, Cleven spotted Jacob Zumberge at a local restaurant and called police who arrested him. Cleven said when she arrived home Paula Zumberge began yelling at her from across the street. When Stevens heard the commotion and came outside, Neal Zumberge emerged from around the corner of his house and began shooting, the complaint says.

After her release from the hospital, Cleven told reporters she was frustrated with New Brighton police because she'd called them many times to report threatening behavior by the Zumberge's. Cleven says police told her they could take no action unless there were witnesses.

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