Fatal hit-and-run suspect surrenders to police

09/23/2013 11:26 PM

09/23/2013 11:42 PM

A Merced man wanted in connection with a fatal hit-and-run crash surrendered to Merced police over the weekend.

Jessie Medrano, 23, turned himself in at the Merced Police Department on Sunday morning, exactly one week after the collision that claimed the life of Ivy Spratling, Lt. Bimley West said.

“I’m glad he turned himself in,” West said Monday. “That was the right thing to do.”

Police said Medrano was the prime suspect in the Sept. 15 crash that killed Spratling. The 51-year-old Merced woman was walking on Yosemite Park Way near the Bradley Overpass when she was struck by a vehicle.

Medrano was arrested on a warrant charging him with felony counts of voluntary manslaughter and hit-and-run and was booked at the Merced County Jail just before 10 a.m. Sunday, police said.

“He was (read his rights) and was unwilling to answer any questions from the detectives,” West said. “He declined to give any statement.”

Medrano posted a $70,000 bail bond and was released from custody, according to officers at the jail.

Police investigators planned to send the case to the Merced County district attorney’s office for review.

Formal charges against Medrano had not been filed on Monday afternoon and no arraignment date had been scheduled, according to the Merced Superior Court clerk’s office.

After striking Spratling, the driver of a black 2013 Honda Accord got out of his car, looked at Spratling lying the road, and then drove away, investigators said. The Honda was coming off the Bradley Overpass exit heading west when the accident occurred.

Spratling was rushed to Mercy Medical Center Merced where she was later pronounced dead.

Officers located Medrano’s vehicle on Thursday in the 3400 block of De Anza Court. It had been concealed beneath a vehicle cover. Investigators seized the car for evidence and issued a warrant for Medrano’s arrest.

Medrano’s only other prior cases in Merced Superior Court are for minor traffic infractions, according to the court clerk’s office.

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