Merced family speaks out after son's alleged killer is captured 10 years later

MERCED, Calif. (KFSN) -- After a decade, Marylene Riley said she's a step toward closure after her son's alleged killer, Jerome Slayton, was arrested at his San Jose home on Thursday.

Slayton made his first appearance in the Merced Superior Court via video on Friday.

"I'm happy, I'm sad, I'm glad. The main thing is that I'm thankful is that my son is going to have his day in court. I believe this is the worst experience I believe anyone should go through. The loss of a child," Riley said.

It's been a cold case since 2008 when Michael Riley was shot and killed near Meadows Avenue and Loughborough Drive in Merced.

Sgt. Ray Alvarez with the Merced Police Department said in the past couple of years, they've had more people come forward which helped confirm the evidence.

"One witness did say it was on his conscience, and that it was playing with his head a little," Sgt. Alvarez said.

Police said Slayton is a known gang member. According to Merced County jail records, he has an extensive criminal history including several drug and gang crimes, vandalism, and being a felon in possession of a weapon.

Riley said she never lost hope. She created an annual walk to remember the deaths of Michael, and his brother, Marlis, who was also murdered by different suspects in 2009.

Riley said nothing would bring her son back. She sometimes wishes his killer would suffer the same fate as Michael. Ultimately, she just wants an apology.

"I want him to apologize to my son Mike, for taking such an awesome spirit," Riley said.

Slayton was booked into the Merced County Jail for Murder. He's due back in court on July 25.
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