Arrest made in case of murdered Opelika business owner - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Arrest made in case of murdered Opelika business owner

Malcum Allen (Source: Opelika Police Department) Malcum Allen (Source: Opelika Police Department)
Walter Cade Spratlin, 48, was found shot to death inside his business. Walter Cade Spratlin, 48, was found shot to death inside his business.
OPELIKA, AL (WTVM) -

An arrest has been made in the shooting death of an Opelika business owner. Walter Cade Spratlin Jr., 48, was found shot to death inside his business, Cades Custom Exhaust & Muffler, in mid-April.

Police say they have now arrested Malcum Allen, 22, and charged him with murder in the case.  He was already in jail on unrelated charges and is being held in the Lee County Detention Center. His bond is set at $100,000 for the murder charge and $5,000 for an unrelated theft charge.

Allen appeared for the first time in front of a Lee County judge Friday afternoon. The victim's wife, Debra Spratlin, was in the courtroom

"He'd looked so young.  Like a child, like my daughter.  Just a little child.  I don't understand how someone so young can do something so horrible.  I just don't understand it," said the widow.

However, for Spratlin, an arrest in the case does not bring much relief.

"In a way it is yeah.  It still doesn't bring him back.  And, I would rather have him here than have this man be in jail," said the victim's wife.

Since the murder, 48-year-old's family has had to close the muffler shop.  It now sits empty with a for lease sign in the window and a lock on the door.

"It was hard because I feel like his spirit was there.  And, I didn't want to leave because that was the last place that he was," said Spratlin.

While the man charged with her husband's death sits in the Lee County Detention Center, Spratlin says she will continue to remember her husband as the kind man she says he was.

"He just loved life.  He was just a happy person."

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