Scooter Berry, half-brother of Jason Gwaltney -- the former North Babylon High School football star who is facing burglary and weapons charges -- said in a statement that their family is "overcome with concern for the victims and for Jason's involvement in this incident."
Berry also played football at North Babylon and accompanied Gwaltney to West Virginia University. Though Gwaltney's career there lasted only seven games, Berry played for four years and most recently played in the Canadian Football League last season.
In the statement released on his Twitter account, Berry said, "We are sensitive to the fact that many people are angered at the facts that have been reported in the media and we respect and understand that anger, especially in light of some of the tragic events that have recently occurred in our country.
"We the family would simply ask at this time for patience and compassion while the justice system works through the facts of this incident involving Jason. Please keep our extended family in your thoughts and prayers.
"For those of you who may have a sibling, right or wrong, Jason is still my brother, and while I may not always love his choices or his actions, I will always love him. Thank you for your continued support."
Gwaltney's lawyer entered a not guilty plea at his arraignment Wednesday at First District Court in Central Islip, a day after police arrested him and four others for allegedly robbing a home in Huntington.
Gwaltney still is in custody, said his lawyer, Joe Cozzo. Bail was set at $50,000 cash or $100,000 bond.