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Apr 27, 2015 5:27 PM

Defense claims police not credible in Lee shooting case


DOVER - A public defender for Steven Amazeen said on Monday that two of the police officers expected to testify in his trial this week have credibility issues.

Joachim Barth told Judge Brian Tucker during a hearing that two of the officers who responded to Amazeen's Lee home on Dec. 3, 2012, have a history of being dishonest while on the job.

One of the officers, who was not named, allegedly cheated while studying for a promotional exam. Barth said he stole a master controllman's test and used that for his preparations.

Deputy County Attorney Alysia Cassotis said the officer originally told an investigator that he used the test, but then after thinking about it, changed his story, saying he used a permissible type of examination while studying.

Barth continued to say that a second officer lied while writing a police report. The officer claimed another member of the force was with him during an incident where a woman was allegedly mistreated. The woman complained, and the lie was discovered, Barth said.

Cassotis said she has no issue with Barth bringing up these alleged incidents during Amazeen's trial but was concerned about the potential scope of his cross-examination.

Amazeen, 48, has been charged with eight counts of criminal threatening and eight counts of reckless conduct. He allegedly shot his AMT Backup .380 pistol into the floor of his home when his wife told him she wanted a divorce.

After doing so, Amazeen went outside, and his wife called police.

According to court documents, when officers arrived at the house, he allegedly told them, "I know to shoot for the head."

He also allegedly said, "I have five bullets left; let's see what happens."

Witnesses said Amazeen was waiving his firearm in the air.

Amazeen was shot twice by police, and then transported to Wentworth-Douglass Hospital. He was subsequently arrested and is being held at Strafford County House of Corrections.

Amazeen's wife told police at the time that her husband had been "very depressed" because his father died in 2008. In addition, the couple's house was in the process of being foreclosed on.

In court documents, Barth characterized Amazeen's actions as an "effort to commit suicide."

Each of the 16 felony charges carries a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison and a $4,000 fine.

Amazeen's trial starts on Tuesday morning.


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