Jeff Zeigler verdict

Jeff Zeigler is escorted from the courtroom (Photo: Jon Hewett/WWJ)

Rochester Hills Man Who Shot At Teen Who Knocked On Door Found Guilty Of Assault

October 12, 2018 - 3:30 pm

PONTIAC (WWJ) - A Rochester Hills man has been convicted of lesser charges after he shot at a 14-year-old boy who knocked on his door. 

A jury on Friday found 53-year-old Jeffrey Zeigler guilty of assault with intent to do great bodily harm and felony firearm, but was acquitted of a charge of assault with intent to murder.

A freshman at Rochester High School, the Brennan Walker told police he got lost after missing the school bus and stopped to ask for directions. When he saw a neighborhood watch sign in the window of Zeigler's home, on S. Christian Hills Dr., the student said, he thought it would be a safe place to seek help.

Zeigler's defense attorney Rob Morad told jurors that home security video shows his client slipped before firing a shotgun at the teen, who was running away. 

"When he's on the porch, Mr. Ziegler does appear to slip," Morad said. "You see that his body stops and then the top of his body goes forward. It looks like he slips, and then he falls back a little bit." 

Zeigler testified Thursday he wanted to fire a warning shot at Walker, seeking to protect his wife who testified she "saw a black person" and screamed, believing he would break in. The boy was not injured. 

Morad told WWJ's Jon Hewett and other reporters that his client is sorry about what happened.

"He's been extremely remorseful. He wishes he could take it back, but obviously he can't take it back," Morad said. "He wishes he didn't go outside that day but...he certainly was not trying to hurt this individual. He certainly didn't want to do that." 

"He felt like he was looking out for his family," Morad added. 

Zeigler, whose bond was revoked, was taken into custody where he will remain until sentencing on Nov. 13. 

He faces two years in prison on the weapons charge, and up to 10 years for the assault.