Docs: Suspect says man killed in Kzoo fire raped her

Kalamazoo and Battle Creek
Melissa Morgan

A June 20, 2019 booking photo of Melissa Morgan. (Kalamazoo County Sheriff’s Office)

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WOOD) — A Kalamazoo woman charged with murdering a man says he repeatedly raped her the night of the deadly fire, court records indicate.

Melissa Morgan is charged with first-degree arson and murder for the Feb. 3 house fire that killed 31-year-old Zachariah Hayes.

Records from Morgan’s probable cause hearing indicate she told an associate that Hayes raped her three times the night of the fire. However, detectives noted Morgan refused to call police or submit a rape kit.

Officers also uncovered text messages from Morgan to her boyfriend acknowledging the rapes. In the messages, detectives say Morgan’s boyfriend also encouraged her to torch the Wallace Avenue home with Hayes inside.

When firefighters responded to the burning home, they knew someone may be inside, but crews couldn’t get in due to hoarding issues and a collapsed roof.
Hayes was originally from Iron Mountain but moved to Kalamazoo several years ago to help his family with maintenance on their rental properties.

Morgan, 32, was arrested in February on outstanding warrants and again in April on drug charges. She was charged with Hayes’ murder last month.

Morgan is expected back in court Wednesday.

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