WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah (ABC4) – A man is in custody for allegedly killing a man found dead inside a vehicle in West Valley City in May.
According to court documents obtained by ABC4, 22-year-old Michael Melara has been booked into the Salt Lake County Jail on charges of manslaughter, carrying a dangerous weapon while under the influence of drugs, and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
On May 26, police were called to the Granger Medical Clinic for a vehicle in the parking lot with its lights on and a door open. Officers found 27-year-old Juan Jose Zamora Guerrero, dead with a gunshot wound, in the back seat of the car.
According to the probable cause statement, detectives were able to locate a juvenile that had dropped the victim off at the clinic and left.
After speaking with the juvenile, detectives say they learned Guerrero had been shot at a home on Hyannis Avenue in West Valley City. Detectives were informed that Melara, who reportedly lives at the home, had shot the victim.
Melara was brought in for question, according to the probable cause statement, and admitted to knowing Guerrero. He allegedly told authorities that he was at his home smoking marijuana and playing with a revolver he had purchased.
While sitting in the driver’s seat of his truck and smoking, he allgedly held the gun out of the window. When Guerrero walked up, Melara is said to have pointed the gun at the man.
According to the probable cause statement, when Guerrero got closer, Melara “bumped the gun and it fired a single round striking the victim in the chest.”
Melara told investigators he “knew [Guerrero] was hurt badly” and instructed the unidentified minor to take Guerrero to the hospital. That is when the minor reportedly abandoned the vehicle, with Guerrero inside, and was picked up by Melara. They then left the scene.
Melara has since been booked into the Salt Lake County Jail on charges of charges of manslaughter, carrying a dangerous weapon while under the influence of drugs, and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.