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Man who burned puppy facing lengthy prison term for latest crimes

It looks like Adell Zeigler, who gained infamy for setting a puppy on fire in 2012, is heading back to prison.

Maybe for a very long time.

Zeigler, the Buffalo resident who received the maximum sentence of a year in jail after pleading guilty to a felony count of aggravated animal cruelty, now faces up to 29 years behind bars for three crimes that occurred within months after his release in 2014, according to the Erie County District Attorney’s Office.

While Phoenix – the Jack Russell terrier that was doused with lighter fluid and set ablaze in the yard of a Herman Street drug house – healed and found a “forever home” with one of the veterinary technicians who helped treat him, Zeigler is looking at a lengthy prison sentence when he’s sentenced later this month by State Supreme Justice Christopher J. Burns.

Michael J. Flaherty Jr., the first assistant district attorney, announced Monday that Zeigler, 23, pleaded guilty as charged in the September 2014 robbery of a Canisius College student, whose car was stolen, and two additional car thefts that followed in October and November.

Zeigler pleaded guilty to one count of robbery and two counts of criminal possession of stolen property, both of which are felonies.

“These are the highest charges for which the defendant could have been convicted had he gone to trial,” Flaherty said in a statement. “In other words, Zeigler did not receive a so-called ‘plea bargain’ and was instead prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”

The cases were prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Patrick B. Shanahan of the Felony Trial Bureau and Assistant District Attorney Michael Drmacich, chief of the Community Prosecution Bureau.

Zeigler faces a lengthy prison term at his Oct. 27 sentencing because he’s a second felony offender.