Mother-in-law vouches for Medlyn | TheUnion.com
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Mother-in-law vouches for Medlyn

The mother-in-law of murder suspect Steven Medlyn, who is accused of killing 75-year-old Mary Spratt, testified Tuesday Medlyn was asleep at home on the night he allegedly entered Spratt’s house and strangled her with a dog leash.

Linda Davidson recalled details of the night of May 3, 2007, saying she remembered it vividly because her daughter and the suspect’s wife, Dawn Medlyn, had an exam the following day. Davidson recounted the exact order in which she watched the TV shows – Jeopardy, Wheel of Fortune, Crime Scene Investigation and Texas Ranger – the night of the murder.

“I was watching TV in the living room with Dawn,” Davidson said. “Steven was also watching with us, but then he went into the sewing room (where another TV is located). He started watching TV and then began playing video games.”



Before she went to bed, Davidson said she checked on her daughter, son-in-law and granddaughter as a part of her daily routine. The three were asleep in their bedroom, Davidson said.

Medlyn had moved into Davidson’s house in February 2007 with his wife and daughter.




“They were living in an apartment in Auburn and they were getting sick,” Davidson said. “We found there was mold in that apartment.”

When Ferguson asked Davidson if she’d known that Medlyn and his family had been evicted from the apartment, Davidson said she wasn’t aware of that.

Davidson told Nevada County Public Defender Keri Goodrow that her pet Chow that growls “if people are up walking around the house at night” didn’t do so the night of Spratt’s death.

She also told Goodrow that she sets her house alarm every night before heading to bed and the system was in working condition in May 2007.

Davidson said Dawn Medlyn knew her alarm code, but she hadn’t divulged it to Steven Medlyn. This was because Dawn Medlyn was mostly at home, while Steven Medlyn was working full-time, Davidson said.

Cause of death

Other witnesses Tuesday included Dr. Donald Henrikson, who performed the Spratt’s autopsy.

Henrikson testified that Spratt died of strangulation. She had also suffered blunt force trauma in the form of lacerations, bruises and contusions, he said.

Henrikson also found a number of hemorrhages throughout Spratt’s body and two fractured ribs on her right side, he said.

“The blunt force trauma gave a shock to her system,” he said.

She succumbed to the shock due to her age and health condition, he said.

Testimony is set to resume at 9 a.m. today in Nevada County Superior Court. Witnesses will include a DNA specialist.

To contact Soumitro Sen, e-mail ssen@theunion.com or call 477-4229.


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