January 24, 1995 in City

Murder Suspect Will Return To U.S. Extradition Fight Dropped In Death Of 13-Year-Old

By The Spokesman-Review

A suspect in the murder of 13-year-old Rebecca Hedman has agreed to return to Spokane to face trial more than a year after his arrest.

John W. Medlock, 35, has waived his right to fight extradition before a Vancouver, British Columbia, court.

Until now, Medlock had succeeded in delaying his court appearance, Spokane police said Monday.

He is facing a charge of firstdegree murder in the October 1993 killing.

City homicide Detective Don Giese and a U.S. marshal were planning to leave for Vancouver today to pick up Medlock.

“It’s been miles and miles of red tape,” Giese said.

The victim’s father, Dennis Hedman, of Tacoma, said, “It’s about time. It’s been a long 16 months.”

Hedman said he plans to attend Medlock’s trial if it occurs, but hopes Medlock pleads guilty instead.

“We are looking for closure. We are looking for justice,” Hedman said. “We are not looking for revenge.”

Police theorize Medlock picked up Hedman, who was working as a prostitute, and took her to a motel, where she was killed. Her body was dumped along the Spokane River near Downriver Golf Course.

Medlock quit his job and left Spokane after the killing. Police said he went to the Vancouver area because his mother lives there. His father was living in Cheney.

Spokane police spokesman Dick Cottam said Medlock made statements about the killing to both Canadian authorities and Spokane detectives.

Before her death, Rebecca Hedman was placed in a drug treatment program at Daybreak of Spokane for a crack cocaine addiction, but left that program for a life on the street.

She was known to police as one of the runaways who hang out along Spokane’s West First Avenue near Madison and Jefferson.

Her father said he is using his daughter’s death as a catalyst to change the state’s juvenile justice law. He testified before a governor’s task force and is supporting a bill to make running away illegal.

He said parents and law officers need more power to prevent children from falling into a life of addiction and crime.

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