Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn announces that 18-year-old Zachary A. Jackson of Cheektowaga was arraigned on Friday morning before Cheektowaga Town Court Justice David Stevens on one count of Aggravated Cruelty to Animals (Class “E” felony under Agriculture and Markets Law) and one count of Overdriving, Torturing and Injuring Animals; Failure to Provide Proper Sustenance (Class “A” misdemeanor under Agriculture and Markets Law).
It is alleged that on April 19, 2023, the defendant, with the intent to kill or cause serious physical injuries to a companion animal, by attempting to drown a family member’s dog in the bathtub at a home on Girard Avenue in the Town of Cheektowaga. The dog, a mixed breed terrier named “Sprocket,” received emergency veterinary treatment after the alleged incident.
Jackson is scheduled to return on Thursday, June 8, 2023 at 9:30 a.m. for a felony hearing. He was held without bail pending the results of a forensic examination.
If convicted of the highest charge, Jackson faces a maximum sentence of two years in prison.
Jackson was also arraigned last week in a separate case. On Friday, May 12, 2023, the defendant was arraigned before Justice Stevens on one count of Criminal Mischief in the Third Degree (Class “E” felony).
It is alleged that on Tuesday, May 9, 2023, at approximately 12:30 p.m., the defendant, while in custody at the Cheektowaga Police Department, intentionally damaged a cell door by using a small metal object to scratch the window. The defendant was arrested on a bench warrant in a pending criminal case.
Jackson is scheduled to return on this case on Thursday, June 8, 2023 at 9:30 a.m. If convicted of the charge, he faces up to 4 years in prison.
The defendant has third criminal case pending in Cheektowaga Town Court. On October 16, 2022, Jackson was arraigned before Cheektowaga Town Court Justice David M. Stevens on one count of Arson in the Third Degree (Class “C” felony) and one count of Criminal Mischief in the Second Degree (Class “D” felony).
It is alleged that on Saturday, October 15, 2022, at approximately 10:41 p.m., the defendant intentionally poured lighter fluid on a family member’s pickup truck and used a blowtorch to set the vehicle on fire. The fire was extinguished by responding police and fire personnel, but caused significant damage to the truck.
On May 3, 2023, Justice Stevens issued bench warrant after the defendant failed to appear for a return court date on April 26, 2023. Jackson was arrested on the bench warrant on May 8, 2023. The defendant was returned to court the following day where Justice Stevens ordered a forensic examination.
If convicted of the highest count in the arson case, Jackson faces up to 15 years in prison.
Jackson also has a pending case in Buffalo City Court. He was arraigned on one count of Criminal Mischief in the Third Degree (Class “E” felony) before Buffalo City Court Judge Shannon Heneghan on January 19, 2023.
It is alleged that on Thursday, December 22, 2022, at approximately 10:41 a.m., the defendant threw at cart at the window of a building on the 300 block of Hudson Street in the City of Buffalo. The defendant’s alleged action caused the window to break, resulting in approximately $1,500 in damage. The defendant was arrested nearby on Niagara Street near Georgia Street a short time later. He was given an appearance ticket to be arraigned at a later date.
A bench warrant was issued after he failed to appear on a scheduled court date. Jackson is scheduled to return to Buffalo City Court on Wednesday, May 24, 2023 at 2:00 p.m. for a pre-trial conference. If convicted of the charge, he faces up to 4 years in prison.
DA Flynn commends SPCA Officer Melina Homsi and the SPCA Serving Erie County for their work in this investigation. DA Flynn also acknowledges the work of the Cheektowaga Police Department and Buffalo Police Department.
“My office will continue to prosecute animal abusers to the fullest extent of the law. I want thank the SPCA for not only their work in this investigation, but also for the work they do every day to help animals in our community,” said District Attorney John Flynn.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Christine M. Garvey of the Animal Cruelty Unit and Assistant District Attorney Stephen C. Papia of the Justice Courts Bureau.
As are all persons accused of a crime, the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.