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Burned Puppy Case: Suspect's Attorney Speaks

12:27 PM, Nov 20, 2012   |    comments
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BUFFALO, NY - The attorney for Diondre Brown says his client may not be entirely responsible for his actions.

Attorney Andrew LoTempio is representing the 17-year-old teen accused of setting a Jack Russell Terrier on fire with lighter fluid. LoTempio says the teen has mental issues.

"The charges are horrible and I understand that the public is and anybody should be outraged at the charges. However, Mr. Brown has had a horrible, horrible life and his background is very, very sad," said LoTempio.

LoTempio represented the man who was convicted of killing Brown's mother in a quadruple homicide in Buffalo in 2005. Brown was 10-years-old and witnessed the crime. When asked if that was an excuse or a reason, LoTempio said, "there's no excuse, it's an explanation for why and how someone gets to the point where they might do something like this, if in fact he did do it. He's been in and out of group homes, he's emotionally disturbed and mentally retarded"

Brown is not the only teen charged. 19-year-old Adell Zeigler is also charged. He is being held in jail without bail for a parole violation. Zeigler's felony hearing was re-scheduled for Friday because he did not have an attorney. His mother was in court and told reporters outside of a Buffalo City courtroom,
"they both have mental health issues, they both committed this crime together. Everything they always did, they always was together. It wasn't no one did more than the other. They both should get the same amount of time, one shouldn't get off lesser than the other cause they both did it together," said Arkeyla Copeland.

2 On Your Side's Claudine Ewing asked Copeland, " is your son admitting that he did do this to the puppy?" Copeland responded, "they both made their confessions."

The pair are charged with animal cruelty for allegedly hanging the puppy three feet in the air. The animal was spotted in a vacant lot next to a house on Herman Street in Buffalo in late October.

Both remain at the Erie County Holding Center. Brown is being held on $20,000 bail. No bail was set for Zeigler because of his parole violation.

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