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Last month, a jury of 53-year-old white man Jeremy Zeigler's peers found him guilty of two charges—assault with the intent to commit great bodily harm and unlawful discharge of a firearm. The charges stemmed from an incident in April, when Zeigler fired his shotgun at Brennan Walker, a black teenager simply looking for directions. The Washington Post reports that on Nov. 13, Zeigler, a retired firefighter of 20 years, was sentenced to 2-10 years for the first charge and two years for the second charge. He will have to serve four years before parole eligibility kicks in.
Back in April, Walker, who was 14 at the time, had missed his morning school bus. Hoping to receive some help, Walker went up to the Rochester Hills home and encountered Zeigler's wife, who, according to Brennan, believed him to be an intruder. Jeremy Zeigler appeared at the door toting a shotgun and fired a shot at Walker, who was running for his life.
Throughout the duration of the case, Zeigler maintained that this incident was not racially charged. His home had been the target of break-ins in the past, so he and his wife were vigilant about protecting their home. He claimed to have not purposefully fired his shotgun (though video evidence suggested otherwise). Upon his sentencing, he spoke remorsefully of the murder. "I know it was wrong, and after spending 35 days in jail, you do a lot of soul-searching," he said.