Guilty verdict for Medlyn in Spratt’s murder |

Guilty verdict for Medlyn in Spratt’s murder

A Nevada County jury convicted Steven Medlyn Wednesday of first-degree murder in the death of Grass Valley resident Mariam Spratt, 75.

They also found him guilty of first-degree burglary after about eight hours of deliberation since Tuesday afternoon.

Medlyn sat with his head bent for a long time after the verdict was read. Public Defender Keri Goodrow patted his back and consoled him.

Medlyn could face 25 years to life in prison due to the first-degree murder charge, Assistant D.A. Anna Ferguson said. Sentencing is scheduled for 9 a.m. Aug. 11.

“I’m very relieved this has come to an end,” said Lisa Spratt, the youngest daughter of the woman known to her friends as Mary. “I feel I’ve been on pins and needles for an entire year.

“I feel very bad for the Medlyns. I can’t imagine what they are going through,” Lisa Spratt added.

“I’m relieved he is behind bars,” said Sandra Eyre, the victim’s oldest daughter. “The idea of him doing this to someone else is real spooky.”

Lisa Spratt pointed out the irony that her parents were once friends with the parents of Steven Medlyn in the 1960s, but the families lost touch over the years.

As children, Lisa Spratt and her siblings would often visit the young Medlyns at their residence, swim in their pool and play with them, Lisa Spratt said.

“After all these years, it seems we’ve come full circle, and our families have got involved with each other once again, but under such sad circumstances,” Lisa Spratt said.

No conviction on lying in wait

It was an emotional scene outside the courtroom as family members and friends of Medlyn, including his mother and sisters, wept and comforted each other with long embraces after hearing the verdict.

“Our family supports Steven very much,” said Mindy Medlyn, sister of Steven Medlyn. “We love him. We do not think he’s guilty. We’ll do anything in our power to find a right answer to this. We offer the Spratts our condolences.”

Jurors found that Steven Medlyn, 35, strangled Mary Spratt, 75, with an old dog leash because he wanted her prescription painkillers and bingo winnings from earlier in the evening. He also was angry she had reported him to the police for stealing from her, Ferguson had told jurors Tuesday during her closing arguments.

Jurors agreed with the prosecution that another person was at the scene when Steven Medlyn committed burglary in Mary Spratt’s apartment.

But they couldn’t reach a verdict on whether he was lying in wait for Spratt to return home from her weekly bingo game at the Grass Valley Elks Lodge. Superior Court Judge R. M. Smith, at the Nevada County Courthouse on a temporary basis, declared a mistrial on the issue of lying in wait.

“I feel sorry for both families,” said Grass Valley Police Sgt. Doug Hren, who investigated the case. “They have to both suffer some kind of loss.”

To contact Soumitro Sen, e-mail or call 477-4229.

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