Family Legal Crisis

Update posted by Diane and Debbie Pineiro Zucker On Jan 09, 2019

The charge was dropped! Yes, you read that right!

After eight months of hell, the prosecutors saw the light. THERE NEVER WAS A SHRED OF EVIDENCE!

We can’t even begin to thank you all for sticking with us through this, for believing in our boy and in us and for all of the love, caring and compassion so many of you have shown us since day one of this ordeal.

Happy New Year!

Sending our love to each of you!


Diane and Debbie

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Update posted by Diane and Debbie Pineiro Zucker On Dec 15, 2018

Dear friends and family,

What a year! We have high hopes for 2019.

Right now things are in a holding pattern. We have no court date, but have been told to expect one in February or March. We're still hoping for a dismissal before then and have reason to believe that might happen.

We're so grateful for your love, friendship and support. It's not been easy for anyone and yet you've been there for us.

We've learned a lot from your generosity…..

The meaning of family and friendship has changed over the years but this year we have been reminded of how, for us anyway, family and friends are often one and the same. We're reminded of that old song, “Lean on Me.”

Thank you again. We hope you know we will be there for you as well.

Happy Solstice! Belated Happy Hannukah! Merry Christmas and may we all be blessed with love, health, compassion, the sweetest of miracles and gratitude in the coming year.

Much love,

Diane and Debbie

Legal expenses are also in a holding pattern for the moment although we do expect them to pick up again in mid-January, along with travel expenses if there is a trial. We're using this little hiatus to get ready for whatever comes next.

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Update posted by Diane and Debbie Pineiro Zucker On Nov 21, 2018

Thanksgiving -- a day of feasting, giving thanks, and counting our blessings ...

Giving thanks has been a big part of our lives these last several months.

Our family has been so lucky to have been surrounded and held in a loving, supportive community that has heard our fears, understood our silences, celebrated our joys and been realistic about our needs.

This year, we’ll give thanks … with our joys, fears, struggles, hopes and a strong appreciation for the web of life we all share. At this year’s Thanksgiving table we’ll be safe, cared for and fed.

Our hearts have been filled again and again these past seven months with gratitude for your generosity, love, understanding and friendship. Thank you for continuing to surround and support us on our journey.

Happy Thanksgiving.


Debbie and Diane

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Update posted by Diane and Debbie Pineiro Zucker On Oct 25, 2018

First of all, please accept our apology for being slow to update this site.

Our family has been back together now for about two weeks!

The trial was delayed until January (although we are still very hopeful charges will be dropped and there will be no trial) and bail was lowered enough that we were able to post bond and bring our boy home. Thanks to many of you for making that possible.

Right now, we’re adjusting to one another, and working to make the next couple of months as productive as possible.

Once again, we want to thank each and every one of you for all of the support, love and trust you’ve shown in all of us from the beginning. It’s made this nightmare bearable and keeps our hopes up as we move forward.


Debbie and Diane

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Update posted by Debra PineiroZucker Zucker On Oct 02, 2018

Another month has passed.

October is here and our son is still in jail.

He waits. We wait.

It will be five months on the 18th.

Three witnesses have been located and have corroborated what our son has said. There is no evidence. That’s the extraordinarily good news!

And yet, the DA is unwilling to even discuss the case with our lawyer. … Obviously, he's not the one waiting in a jail cell.

One would think a simple private phone conversation between a prisoner and his lawyer would be easy to arrange. Not out there it's not. For more than a week he and his lawyer, with our intervention as well, have been trying to set up a simple phone call and the jail is stonewalling.

Why in the world can’t our son call his lawyer? It shouldn't be that difficult.

In the meantime, we continue to pray the charge will be dropped for lack of evidence and we hope that, by the end of October, this will all be over...till then we wait.

Debbie and Diane

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Update posted by Diane and Debbie Pineiro Zucker On Sep 12, 2018

There has been some remarkably positive and hopeful news these past few days. News that our son's lawyer says is HUGE!

Yet, for reasons we don’t really understand, the prosecution persists (no, they haven’t dropped the charges, maybe that only happens in the movies) and our son remains in jail.

As of today, Tuesday, Sept. 11, it’s been one hundred and sixteen days!

Will there really be a trial on Oct.31? Fifty days till then.

For now, we are thrilled the news is so good. We hope the prosecutor puts his ego aside and comes to his senses.

Thank you all for your love, support and strong shoulders.

Debbie and Diane

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Update posted by Diane and Debbie Pineiro Zucker On Sep 03, 2018

It’s September, so the trees, the light and the breezes are all showing telltale signs of fall, even with temperatures in the high 80s today. It’s difficult to believe this nightmare started on May 18 and we’re still in it.

There have been positive developments in the past week or so that have led us to believe an end could be in sight, but we’ve learned not to jump to conclusions.

The “justice system” moves slowly and there is no way to predict just what might actually happen. What appears logical -- even no-brainers -- don’t necessarily turn out that way. And our concept of “innocent until proven guilty” bears little resemblance to what is happening in the life of our 19-year-old son -- who we believe is innocent and who has absolutely not been proven guilty.

It’s difficult to update a website when nothing changes. Day in and day out, we just wait for word from a lawyer we trust is working his hardest to see that justice prevails.

Thanks to all of you for hanging in there with us.


Diane and Debbie

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Update posted by Diane and Debbie Pineiro Zucker On Aug 23, 2018

Dear friends and family,

Today is one of those gorgeous summer mornings I long for....sunny, low humidity, slight breeze and cool. The crickets are singing and I know September is near.....

This morning I opened my front door to find a loving note from one of our good friends with a donation for our son's legal expenses.

My heart was filled with love and gratitude. The card said "this isn't much"...tears came.

It is enough....your love, your hugs, your notes, your support and generosity is a large part of what keeps us all going. Without each and every single one of you, as I've said before, getting to the other side of this unwanted and terrible nightmare would be impossible.

We send our love and appreciation back to you all.

With much love,


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Update posted by Diane and Debbie Pineiro Zucker On Aug 14, 2018

On Saturday, our son will have been in jail for three months.

CONVICTED OF ABSOLUTELY NOTHING; in real physical and psychological danger; and with no evidence pointing to his guilt.

There is something horribly wrong with this picture.

We are hoping for a resolution sooner than later but we can't count on that. We're relying on a "justice system" that runs as slow as molasses and seems to have no commitment to speedy trials (the 6th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution).

In this country of ours we house convicted men and women side by side with accused men and women awaiting trial.

And no one -- whether convicted or accused -- deserves to be awakened from a restless sleep at 5:30 in the morning in a dimly lit cell with only a cloudy narrow window offering a trace of natural light.

No one -- convicted or accused -- deserves half a banana, a piece of white bread, a tasteless egg and powdered milk slipped through a slot in a metal door.

No one -- convicted or accused -- deserves lunch at 10:30 a.m. Two slices of white bread with two slices of some sort of barely recognizable cold cuts and a salad or vegetable (when they come) with bugs or mold.

No one -- convicted or accused -- deserves dinner at 4 that sounds pretty much the same as lunch.

Our son doesn't deserve to be denied multi-vitamins unless he can explain to some jail doctor why he needs them, or to be asked what medicines he was on before jail so that they can be continued -- with no effort made to figure out what's needed now.

In the words of the ACLU:

"Far too many prisoners are held in conditions that threaten their health, safety, and human dignity on a daily basis. ... The devastating effects of such treatment, particularly on people with mental illness, are well known. Prisoners are a population with significant medical and mental health needs, but prisoner health care services are often abysmal."

Then there's the practical stuff ...

We've plowed through the retainer -- and then some. Now we're looking at the possibility of a trial at the end of October and flights out and back, lost wages for the time we're out there, etc.

Your generosity continues and we're blessed by that.

We just want to let all of our supporters know what we're facing, what the past few weeks have been like and some of our thoughts as we go through all of this.

With love and thanks,

Diane and Debbie

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Update posted by Diane and Debbie Pineiro Zucker On Aug 03, 2018

From Diane

On Tuesday the arraignment went as expected and a trial was set for Oct. 31-Nov. 1, with a pre-trial hearing in early October. Way too far off, but there is an end in sight.

And, with any luck, this will be resolved before then.

For now, we have our reservations in place for the last week of October.

We want to acknowledge some off-line contributions we’ve received in the past few weeks. Unfortunately GoGetFunding makes updates a little tricky. Thank you! All of your generosity and loving support is staggering.

At this point we’ve already spent about half of a sizable retainer (we’ve been advised by counsel not to specifically address that amount) and, if this case goes to trial, we’re surely going to need more. We’ll deal with that when the time comes, but for now we’re thankful for what we have.

We’re able to envision actually getting through all of this and emerging from the other side worn, weary, but not defeated.


From Debbie

July 31... A trial date has been set for the end of October.

The judge was ready to schedule a December date but thankfully our son's lawyer was able to push for an earlier one.

There will be a pretrial hearing the beginning of October and once again we are hoping that the case will be dropped.

The justice system moves very slowly. When you are sitting in jail with hours and hours ahead of you it moves even slower.

I am so greatfull to hear our son's calms me and for awhile I know he is alright.

We have our flight booked for the last week in October. Until then, we write letters, cherish our phone calls and feel incredibly lucky and blessed to be held and supported by you all. Thank you.


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