Memorial erected for Middletown’s latest homicide victim

A memorial has been erected on a Middletown street where a teen was shot and killed Friday night.

Zachariah Wallace, 17, of Middletown, was shot five times at about 6:25 p.m. in the area of Casper and Inglehart streets. He died at Atrium Medical Center minutes later. Wallace’s name was previously reported as Zachary, and his age was reported as 16 by officials.

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Friends, family and the community marked the teen’s death with candles, a bandana and poinsettias. It is the third memorial erected in the city at homicide locations since December 2018.

On Dec. 14, 2018, Benny Barefield was shot in his car outside his house on Ninth Avenue. Barefield’s red Buick Lucerne rolled to the corner of Yankee Road and Ninth Avenue, where it crashed into a stop sign. A memorial remains at that location, but a large photo of Barefield has been removed due to vandalism, according to family members.

Barefield’s homicide remains unsolved.

Just a few blocks away, Michael Stewart II was shot and killed in his home on Oct. 12. A day later, candles in a memorial were burning on the porch near the front door. Three teens have been charged in connection with Stewart’s death.

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On Monday, Middletown Municipal Court Judge James Sherron set bond at $1 million for Mezahn Demarco Amison, 21, of Manchester Avenue, who is charged with murder and tampering with evidence in Wallace’s death.

Wallace was not a student at Middletown Schools, according to district officials. He was a former student of Marshall High School, an alternative school, but was not enrolled there at the time of the shooting.

Middletown Police Maj. Scott Reeve said the shooting was the result of an “ongoing conflict” between Wallace and Amison.

Amison saw Wallace walking on Manchester Avenue, got out of a vehicle and “shot (Wallace) five times, causing his death,” according to court documents.

Amison drove to Trenton, where officers found him on Mars Drive. He was arrested, along with a 16-year-old boy charged with obstructing official business.

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