UPDATE – A Muscogee County Superior Court Jury has found 22-year-old Zajaliq Riley guilty of felony murder and two other drug and firearm charges after deliberating for two and a half hours over the 2021 Midtown murder of 20-year-old Devion Miley.

At the time of the incident, Riley was only 20 when he killed Miley.

Riley now faces the possibility of life in prison with parole. 

The victim’s mother, Matricia Johnson, showed signs of relief after witnessing justice being served after waiting for two years.

“Relief. Joy. This is a long time coming. My son deserves this justice. And with the verdict it is still going to be hard because it doesn’t bring him back,” said Johnson.

WRBL also spoke with Muscogee County Prosecutor Robin Anthony, who believes that regardless of the victim’s involvement in a drug deal going wrong, his life shouldn’t have lost his life.

 “This was a 20-year-old boy who didn’t deserve to die. All life is precious,” stated Anthony.

Riley’s sentencing is scheduled for Aug. 30. Detric Bush, another defendant in this case, pled guilty to lesser charges and testified against Riley; his sentencing is also scheduled for Aug. 30.

COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) — A Muscogee County Superior Court jury is now considering the fate of a Columbus man accused in the 2021 Midtown murder of another Columbus man.

Zajaliq Riley, 22, is facing the possibility of life in prison with parole if convicted in the shooting death of 20-year-old Devion Miley on May 8, 2021.

The jury got the case about 10 Friday morning.

Both the prosecution and defense framed the case as a drug deal gone bad. According to testimony and police accounts, Riley and Detric Bush were attempting to purchase marijuana from Miley at the Efficiency Lodge on Boxwood Place. There were issues with the electronic payment transaction. Miley left the motel with Riley and Bush.

Bush testified that Riley shot Miley. Riley, who took the stand in his own defense, told the jury that Miley exited the car and he never shot him.

Riley was found bleeding to death near a pita restaurant off Macon Road. He died en route to the hospital.

Bush took a plea deal to lesser charges. He is awaiting sentencing.

Less than a half-hour into deliberations, the jury sent a note to the judge asking to see a Facetime call from Bush and video from the Synovus Bank that’s in the area where the murder took place.

During almost two and a half hours of testimony on Thursday, Riley repeatedly denied shooting Miley.

During closing arguments on Thursday, prosecutor Robin Anthony and defense attorney Michael Garner made their cases to the jury.

Garner: “I told you when you started this case, I didn’t know what was going on. But this thing was so confusing with all these drug dealers and all this stuff going on. I told you, ‘Good luck.’ I told you exactly what you were going to have to do in this case. And that is to have to look at his group of drug dealers and see who killed Mr. Miley.”

This is how Anthony framed it: “He (Riley) drove down Boxwood Boulevard, stopped his car before got to the light, told Devion Miley to get out. And shot him.”