Defendant claims self-defense in Portage Co. fatal shooting tria - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Defendant claims self-defense in Portage Co. fatal shooting trial


The man at the center of a Portage County murder trial testified in self-defense Thursday morning.

Kyle Engen testified that the victim, Deonta Lezine, was 'rapidly walking towards him' even after he pulled the gun out of his backpack, which also contained the two pounds of marijuana he was expecting to sell to someone other than Lezine.+

"The person who was in the backseat that was striking me opened the door and got out of the vehicle," Engen said. "I was terrified and I was just trying to get out of the situation."

Engen testified that's when he fired shots and stumbled away. 

He was arrested in Colorado days after the shooting. 

On Thursday, Engen's attorney asked why he left the state and Engen claimed it was because he knew he would be in trouble for having a firearm as a felon, not because of the shooting. 

The defendant testified for nearly 45 minutes. 

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The defense also called a forensic analyst, who investigated the scene, to the stand on Thursday. 

The prosecuting attorney asked if he saw blood at the scene, he said no. 

The state called Stevens Point Police Sgt. Tony Zblewski, who also responded to the scene, to the stand Wednesday, he was called for a rebuttal testimony on Thursday.

They asked if he ever noticed any blood on the scene, "No," Zblewski answered.

Engen, of Dane County, is charged with the killing of Deonta Lezine in March 2016. 

Police said it was a drug deal gone bad, resulting in Lezine's death

The prosecutors and defense both rested their cases Thursday.  Closing arguments will start Friday. 

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