Change in judge day two of Portage Co. murder trial - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Change in judge day two of Portage Co. murder trial


A family emergency almost halted a Portage County murder trial after the judge had to leave unexpectedly Tuesday.

The trial for Kyle Engen started Monday. Engen chose to continue with a new judge, which prevented a mistrial.

Engen is accused in a fatal shooting near the UW Stevens Point campus in 2016.

Several witnesses took the stand to paint a picture of the night of the alleged shooting. 

"There was three popping sounds that occurred followed by what sounded like tires screeching going off towards Maria Drive," a witness said. 

Deonta Lezine was killed and another man suffered minor injuries.

"I was watching TV then I heard some pops that sounded a little bit louder than firecrackers," another witness said. "And I heard squealing after the pops and high acceleration."

Police said it was a drug deal gone bad.

Moments after the shooting, Lezine allegedly stumbled into a UWSP locker room where two students saw him and tried to help until first responders arrived.

"We saw a guy coming in who was completely pretty much covered in blood," a witness said. "We started talking to him, asking are you okay is anything wrong? He kind of stumbled forward, unresponsive for a bit, then he said I'm good once or twice and we said no you're not, sit down."

According to court documents Engen planned to sell $7,200 worth of marijuana. Lezine and his friends planned to steal it from Engen because they couldn't afford the price. 

"We were just grabbing towels off the janitor cart and trying to hold him still because he was trying to move," the witness said. 

The defense attorney asked the witness who helped Lezine, "At any time did you see him fall?"

The witness answered, "No, he did not fall, it would have been pretty obvious if he fell because he was bleeding enough to where anything he touched with his hands, like one of the railings in the locker room was covered with blood, so if he would have fallen there would have been blood all over the ground."

Engen was on the run before being arrested in Colorado in April 2016. 

The trial started Monday and is expected to go until Friday. 

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