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2014 Midway area murder case set for trial in October

A man suspected of killing his roommate nearly three years ago is set to go to jury trial in October.

Randall Joey Futch Jr., allegedly killed Dana Zeigler on Dec. 19, 2014 at her home at 3104 Luke Road, lot eight in Midway.

Futch is charged with two counts of murder, two counts of aggravated assault and theft by taking.

The Midway Police Department initially responded to a call from an anonymous man saying there was a dead body at the Midway address, according to initial reports.

The call was traced as originating from a gas station in nearby Bryan County.

MPD Officers Matthew McKnight and Randy Knox found the unresponsive woman lying face down in a pool of blood in her bedroom. They called the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office and Detective Tracy Jennings responded to the scene. The LCSO also alerted the Georgia Bureau of Investigation who assisted in processing and collecting evidence.

They noted that Zeigler’s car, was missing. LCSO issued an alert for Futch.

A few days after the incident, Futch was taken into custody in Bulloch County at a location he was known to frequent. He was driving Zeigler’s silver Buick.

He’s been in Liberty County jail, held without bond, since his arrest.

According to Jennings’ testimony during a preliminary hearing in December 2015, the LCSO had obtained video from the Parker’s Gas Station on Highway 17 in Bryan County showing Futch making a call and driving Zeigler’s car. Investigators believe it was Futch who called 9-1-1, reporting the body.

Jennings said Futch rented a room from Zeigler. She said they obtained a search warrant for her residence and found an eviction letter Zeigler had served Futch, dated a few days prior to her killing. Jennings said that Zeigler’s room had evidence indicating, “an immediate struggle,” had taken place in the room. She testified there were blood smears throughout the room, as well as broken furniture.

Jennings said they retrieved two cell phones and were able to obtain recordings off one of them. The recordings indicated Zeigler and Futch were arguing over money and other things about the house.

During cross-examination Futch’s attorney John Ely asked Jennings if they investigated other possible suspects. Jennings said Futch had mentioned there were two guys in the neighborhood he suspected that he had seen lurking around. But Jennings noted that Futch was not able to provide the names of the two men.

Jennings continued to say that Futch provided a statement that he and Zeigler were not getting along and did argue that day. After Zeigler went to sleep, Futch said he stole her keys, took her car and left. In the statement Futch said he returned at noon the next day to find the house had been ransacked, and found Zeigler, naked and unresponsive on the floor with a sheet tied around her neck. Futch said he thought Zeigler had been robbed and raped.

However Jennings noted that during their investigation, Zeigler was found fully clothed and Futch had not made the call to police until 5:30 p.m. Jennings did note there was evidence of a strangulation.

According to the autopsy report Zeigler died of strangulation and blunt force trauma.

Futch has filed several documents on his own behalf demanding a speedy trial and motions to quash the indictments. Public records show the court is still waiting for Futch to undergo a mental evaluation.

The October trial will be held before Liberty County Superior Court Judge Paul Rose.

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