Relatives of Diondre Brown, 17, and Adell Zeigler, 19, defended the two Buffalo teens who appeared in City Court this morning to answer charges of setting a Jack Russell terrier on fire Oct. 29.
Though Brown was described as having a violent reputation in the community by the prosecutor, Robin Lynette Brown, his maternal grandmother, said he repeatedly denied torching the 16-week-old terrier and blamed Zeigler, who is his uncle.
“My grandson didn’t do it. His uncle did. The only thing I know is that where Adell is there is trouble. My grandson met him at a home for troubled youth back in 2006 and every time Adell has come around, something has come up missing. The first time it was a pair of jeans, then a PlayStation and now he is trying to take away his freedom,” Brown said.
She also said her grandson suffers from mental health issues because he witnessed the quadruple murder that took the life of his mother and an uncle, in addition to two family friends, on Koons Avenue in 2005.
The grandmother made her comments following a brief court appearance in front of Buffalo City Court Judge Debra Givens, who set bail at $20,000 for Brown, and denied bail for Zeigler because he is a parole violator.
Zeigler’s mother said her son did not harm the dog.
“They were together and her [Brown’s] grandson had a role in this. Adell told me he did absolutely nothing,” the mother said.
Assistant District Attorney Matthew Albert had sought bail of $50,000 for both teenagers, telling the judge that their crime was “heinous and debased.”
The teenagers, who were arraigned on felony animal cruelty counts, are scheduled to return to court at 2 p.m. Monday.