Buffalo Teen Pleads Guilty to Aggravated Cruelty to Animals

Modified: May 23, 2013 3:34pm

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Erie County District Attorney Frank A. Sedita, III announced that 19 year old Adell Ziegler aka “Zooka”, pleaded, as charged, to Aggravated Cruelty to Animals before Supreme Court Justice Russell P. Buscaglia this afternoon. This is the highest charge for which Ziegler could have been convicted had he gone to trial. 

Ziegler admitted that on October 29, 2012 he poured lighter fluid on the Jack Russell Terrier puppy, Phoenix, and lit the dog on fire.  Phoenix suffered 1st, 2nd and 3rd degree burns to over 50% of his body.  Since the date of the crime, Ziegler has admitted his actions to several family members and friends and has boasted that this case has made him famous.

The case was successfully prosecuted by DA Felony Trial Bureau Chief Kristin St. Mary and ADA Matt Albert. DA Sedita also praised the efforts of Dr. Rebecca Wagner and the staff at Buffalo Small Animal Hospital, stating: “Because of the efforts of veterinary professionals like Dr. Wagner, the life of a helpless puppy was saved. Because of the efforts of law enforcement professionals like Ms. St. Mary, a demented and remorseless animal abuser was prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”  

Ziegler faces a maximum prison term of 2 years when he is sentenced before Justice Buscaglia on June 14, 2013 at 11:00 a.m. 

Ziegler’s nephew, Diondre Brown aka “Drizzy,” previously pleaded guilty on December 5, 2012 to Aggravated Cruelty to Animals, for his role in the crime; he also pleaded guilty as charged and it was the highest count for which he could have been convicted had he gone to trial.