Police: Medlyn was close to Spratt | TheUnion.com

Police: Medlyn was close to Spratt

Detectives investigating the murder of Mary Spratt revealed details in court Wednesday of the close yet seemingly dysfunctional relationship she had with suspect Steven Medlyn.

Medlyn told Grass Valley police that he visited Spratt “three to four times a week, took her trash out and walked her dog,” investigator Grass Valley Police Sgt. Jason Perry said.

Medlyn also knew intimate details of Spratt’s life, such as her inability to bolt her back door due to rheumatoid arthritis, according to Perry.

Medlyn, 35, and Spratt, 75, exchanged oxycontin, investigators said. While Spratt took pain medication for her arthritis, Medlyn became addicted to similar medicines after a work-related injury in 2003, Nevada County Public Defender Keri Goodrow said earlier in the trial.

Medlyn told the police that at some point Spratt had bought him medication, which he paid back slowly, Grass Valley Police Sgt. Doug Hren said.

Medlyn, however, “knew Spratt’s family didn’t like him because of their co-dependency and the drug connection,” Hren said.

Medlyn told police Spratt approached him for methamphetamine about a year before she was murdered in May 2007, Perry said.

Medlyn upset on being charged

Hren identified Spratt’s purse in court Wednesday, which he had retrieved from the Penn Valley residence of Medlyn’s mother-in-law, where Medlyn was living with his wife and children at the time of Spratt’s murder.

He also identified some articles he’d found inside Spratt’s wallet, including a picture of her at her college graduation, some family photos, insurance cards, three AARP cards and a AAA membership card.

The purse was found under a heap of clothes in a disheveled bedroom occupied by Medlyn and his wife, Dawn, at the Penn Valley house. The Medlyns had been evicted from their apartment, and their car had been repossessed shortly before Spratt’s murder, attorneys said.

Police informed Medlyn that he’d be charged with murder soon after the purse was discovered, Hren said.

Medlyn retched, vomited and convulsed on being told about the charge, Hren said.

“He hung his head, turned pale and was upset,” Hren said. “He looked remorseful but not surprised.”

Other witnesses Wednesday included Terry Hamlin, a fingerprint analyst with the California Department of Justice, and Grass Valley Police Detective Colin Nelson.

Testimony is set to resume at 9 a.m. today in Nevada County Superior Court. Witnesses will include the doctor who had performed autopsy on Spratt.

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

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