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Jury clears Midway man of murder charge

A man suspected of killing his roommate nearly three years ago was acquitted on the murder charges during a jury trial held this week.

Randall Joey Futch Jr., was found not guilty of malice murder, felony murder, voluntary and involuntary manslaughter and aggravated assault in the death of his former roommate Dana Zeigler on Dec. 19, 2014 at her home at 3104 Luke Road, lot eight in Midway.

The jury did find Futch guilty of aggravated battery and theft by taking. The trial was held before Liberty County Superior Court Judge Paul Rose. The jury deliberated for two hours before reaching their verdict.

There will be a sentencing hearing in 30 days. According Georgia law Futch could be sentenced to a minimum of one year up to a maximum of 20 years in prison.

Zeigler was found unresponsive by Midway Police Officers Matthew McKnight and Randy Knox after 911 dispatchers received 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.

Zeigler was found face down in a pool of blood in her bedroom. Detectives from the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office were called to the scene. Detective Tracy Jennings also alerted the Georgia Bureau of Investigation to assist in processing and collecting evidence.

Zeigler’s car, was missing and the 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.

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 911, reporting the body.

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

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