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May 5, 2015 8:26 PM

Jury deadlocks in case of man shot by police


DOVER - A former Lee man who was shot twice by police after a domestic dispute in 2012 was found not guilty on four criminal charges against him by a jury at Strafford County Superior Court, but is still not in the clear.

Steven Amazeen, 48, who was living at 289 Lee Hook Road with his wife, Mary, and 5-year-old son on Dec. 3, 2012, was on trial for multiple charges of criminal threatening and reckless conduct. He allegedly shot his AMT Backup .380 pistol into the floor of his bedroom when Mary told him she wanted a divorce.

The couple was in financial trouble, and their house was being foreclosed on.

Amazeen went outside and shot his gun again, this time toward the barn, before Mary called police. When they arrived on the scene, Amazeen allegedly told them he knew how to "shoot for the head" before they shot him twice.

Amazeen's public defender, Joachim Barth, told the jury that Amazeen was suicidal, and only made so-called threatening statements to police as he was walking away from them. Barth maintains that the officers who shot Amazeen jumped to conclusions on the night of the incident.

Barth also maintains that police had conflicting stories about what happened that night.

On Tuesday afternoon, members of the jury asked the court what would happen if they could not decide Amazeen's guilt or innocence on all of the charges. After receiving further instructions, they entered the courtroom and told the judge that they found Amazeen not guilty on four of the charges against him, but could not make a unanimous decision on the seven remaining charges.

Now, Deputy County Attorney Alysia Cassotis must review the case with the jury and decide whether or not she intends to retry Amazeen on those charges. This process will take at least four to six weeks, as Cassotis cannot contact members of the jury for a month.


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