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Man's Conviction Upheld for the Killing of Mother-in-Law in Newark


A state appeals court today upheld Forrest Thomas's conviction for the killing his mother-in-law in 2010.

Forrest Thomas, 49, formerly of Newark, in his appeal argued that witnesses were allowed to testify statements made by the 76-year-old victim during trial.

The testimonies included complaints Thomas stole, abused, and argued with victim.

However, appellate panel determined that the judge properly allowed the testimony to adequately demonstrate Thomas's motive to kill Spratt.

The testimony showed that the defendant was aware the the relationship with Spratt was coming to an end resulting in him being banned from Spratt's apartment.

Thomas was sentenced in February 2012 to life in prison. Of which he was ordered to serve 63 years before becoming eligible for parole.

In January 2010, when Thomas returned to apartment to pickup his possessions, as a result of his permanent banned, he killed Spratt by compressing her neck, stopping her breathing.

Thomas stayed at the apartment for three days until January 18, when he stuffed her body into two garbage bags. He then placed the bags in a shopping cart which he left in a Dumpster area behind 180 South Orange Ave. in Newark.

Spratt's body was discovered by scrap collectors.