Office of the DeKalb County District Attorney

Stone Mountain Judicial Circuit

Sherry Boston, District Attorney

DECATUR MAN SENTENCED TO LIFE FOR MURDER OF ROOMMATE IN DISPUTE OVER GUN

July 3, 2024

State v. Zakariya Wildman

Decatur, Ga.- DeKalb County District Attorney Sherry Boston announces a conviction by jury trial in the case against a man accused of shooting his roommate in a dispute over the same gun that killed the victim.

On Thursday, jurors found Zakariya Wildman, 25, guilty on charges of Malice Murder, Felony Murder, Aggravated Assault, and Possession of a Firearm during The Commission of a Felony stemming from the death of Kali Winston, 28.

According to the investigation, officers from the DeKalb County Police Department responded to a call of a person shot at a home in the 1400 block of Meadowlark Drive in unincorporated Decatur on January 12, 2023. Residents of the home told officers that their roommate, Defendant Wildman, had purchased a gun that morning, then decided to shoot targets in the back yard of the home that evening. Neighbors, concerned for the children who live and go to school in the neighborhood, were upset by the gunshots.

The roommates told officers that the victim, Winston, confronted the Defendant about his actions, and a verbal dispute quickly escalated to a physical fight. The roommates were able to break the two men apart and end the fight.

Defendant Wildman, who had a black eye, walked to his room and retrieved his gun. One roommate ran for help. The other roommate, Winston’s girlfriend, watched as Defendant Wildman walked into the living room and shot her boyfriend in the chest. Defendant Wildman fled the scene on foot. Winston succumbed to his injuries.

Defendant Wildman was found a short time later walking in the neighborhood, and was apprehended without incident. He claimed to have shot Winston in self-defense, despite admitting that the fight had ended.

DeKalb County Senior Judge Alan C. Harvey, who presided over the trial, sentenced Defendant Wildman to serve Life in prison.

The case, assigned to the Homicide and Gangs Unit, was prosecuted by Senior Assistant District Attorney Helen Pott with assistance from Assistant District Attorney Miriam Broussard, District Attorney Investigator Curtis Averhart, and Victim Advocate Kaysha Albritton. DeKalb County Police Department Det. Muller led the initial investigation.