Zion teen pleads not guilty to murder charges in shooting death of 23-year-old woman

  • Zechariah C. Myles

    Zechariah C. Myles

Updated 12/23/2021 3:58 PM

A 16-year-old Zion boy pleaded not guilty Wednesday to the charges stemming from the fatal shooting of a 23-year-old Zion woman in October, authorities said Thursday.

Zechariah C. Myles is being charged as an adult with six counts of first-degree murder in the death of Melanie Yates, who was shot while in her home with her infant child, officials said.


Investigators believe Myles was shooting at someone else.

The shooting occurred the evening of Oct. 17 on the 2800 block of Enoch Ave. in Zion. Myles fled before officers arrived and was arrested nearly a month later on Nov. 15 by Waukegan police.

Lake County State's Attorney Eric Rinehart said his office will pursue a sentence that deters others from entering a life of violence.

"We will seek to unpack and understand the social circumstances that led to a 16-year-old having a rifle in the first place and causing so much pain," Rinehart said. "We must do everything in our power to support the survivors and to prevent this tragic crime from happening to others."

Myles is next due in court on Feb. 15.

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