Steven Amazeen

Apr 28, 2015 6:03 PM

Attorneys: Lee man who threatened police wanted them to kill him

DOVER - A former Lee man who was shot twice by police after he allegedly threatened them with a firearm, apparently first dropped to his knees and put a gun to his own head, according to attorneys handling the case.

Steven Amazeen, 48, who lived at 289 Lee Hook Road at the time he was shot, is on trial for criminal threatening and reckless conduct at Strafford County Superior Court. During opening statements Tuesday morning, the prosecution and Amazeen's defense attorney agreed that he wanted police to kill him on Dec. 3, 2012, after a domestic dispute with his wife.

Deputy County Attorney Alysia Cassotis told the jury that Amazeen and his wife, Mary, were having financial troubles at the time. Their house of many years was being foreclosed on, and boxes were packed with their belongings.

After their five-year-old son went to bed, the couple began bickering, and Mary told her husband that she wanted a divorce.

This pushed Amazeen "right over the edge," Cassotis said.

Amazeen allegedly took out the AMT Backup .380 pistol he had become accustomed to carrying and while Mary sat on their marital bed, he discharged his weapon into the floor.

Cassotis said even though Mary tried to explain to Amazeen that she would not keep their child from him, it didn't register, and he went outside to kill himself, discharging the weapon again in the direction of their barn.

When local police received a phone call for help from Mary, they immediately called for additional units. Barrington, Newmarket and Durham all responded to the scene. Some officers were carrying assault rifles.

Cassotis said Lee police Sergeant Michael Lyczak was the first to arrive at the scene. Amazeen knew Lyczak personally, and he was "screaming" while asking the officer to shoot him.

"I don't want to shoot you, I want you to put the gun down!" Lyczak apparently told Amazeen.
Durham police were the last to arrive on scene, and that is when Amazeen got shot, Cassotis said. She described how the Durham officers witnessed a man with long, curly, gray hair emerge from the woods on the foggy night.
Amazeen, Cassotis said, began walking at the officers with a purpose, waving his gun.
"He didn't get very far, because they didn't let him. They discharged their weapons," Cassotis said.
Amazeen was hit in the legs and shoulder.
Public defender Joachim Barth challenged the state's charges, saying Amazeen did not create a "substantial risk" of serious bodily injury on the night in question.
Even though Amazeen told officers he knew to "shoot for the head" and had five bullets left, Barth claimed, "He was not pointing the gun at anyone when he said those provocative, desperate words...he was walking away with the gun at his side."
Barth said the Durham police had misinformation when they arrived at the scene. One of the officers got to what they believed was a command post and looked into a cruiser, thinking he would find a fellow officer. When he found nobody in it, he became angry, thinking Amazeen killed the members of local responding police forces.
Barth started to wrap up his statement by saying he and Amazeen don't want to "whine" about police.
"We're not here asking for a protest. We are here because Steve did not commit a crime," Barth said.
At the end of his comments, Barth told the jury he would ask them to "engage the principals of justice" during deliberations, and explained the meaning of reasonable doubt.
Each of the 16 charges against Amazeen carries a prison sentence of up to 30 years, and a $4,000 fine.
Amazeen's trial is expected to last approximately one week.


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