State wants pension of Rochester Hills man convicted of shooting at teen to help pay for prison stay

Jeffrey Zeigler convicted of shooting at teenager asking for directions

ROCHESTER HILLS, Mich. – State officials want the pension of a Rochester Hills man convicted of shooting at a teenager who was on his porch asking for directions to help pay for his prison stay.

Jeffrey Zeigler was caught on video shooting at Brennan Walker in April.

Local 4 spoke with Zeigler's wife, who depends on the pension. She said she knows about the state's attempt to garnish her husband's pension but referred Local 4 to her attorney.

It costs $95 per day to jail a prisoner, or $36,000 per year.

Zeigler is going to serve at least the next four years behind bars. He's currently in the Central Michigan Correctional Facility in St. Louis, Michigan.

The state sent him there after his conviction on assault with intent to commit great bodily harm and felony firearms convictions.

Zeigler receives a pension of just under $4,000 a month from the city of Detroit as a retired firefighter. State officials want as much of the pension as they can get, and the state can try to secure it under the State Correctional Facilities Act of 19335.

The act "requires the attorney general to seek reimbursement when he/she believes there is good cause to believe a prisoner is due assets that may be used toward the cost of care."

Reimbursement is capped at 90 percent, and last year, 282 prisoners ended up in this situation.

Many Michigan residents are against the act.

"I think it's wrong," one resident said. "That's why I pay taxes. Whether to the state or the county, wherever, they should be operating on a budget."

"She's having to suffer for what he did," another resident said. "She should be entitled to that money, and that's wrong. I think that should be changed."

The judge in the case will make a decision. If the attorney general succeeds, Zeigler's wife would be left with about $3,700 or $3,800 per month.

About the Authors:

Rod Meloni is an Emmy Award-winning Business Editor on Local 4 News and a Certified Financial Planner™ Professional.

Derick is the Lead Digital Editor for ClickOnDetroit and has been with Local 4 News since April 2013. Derick specializes in breaking news, crime and local sports.