A Walker woman was sentenced to 15 to 25 years behind bars for the murder of an Allendale man. Heather McFerrin stabbed 26-year-old Spencer Rauch in the chest back in April while he tried to break up a fight.

McFerrin pleaded guilty to second-degree murder.

Prior to the sentencing, Judge Jon Hulsing described Rauch as a peacemaker that night, trying to do the right thing when he was killed. He hoped Monday's hearing would encourage people to avoid using senseless violence.

"This is what you took away ma'am," Judge Hulsing told McFerrin as he held a poster filled with photos of Spencer Rauch.

"If you look at the pictures you'll see a fun-loving man, who loves so many and is still loved by so many," Spencer's mom Margaret Rauch told the courtroom on Monday.

McFerrin was in tears as she took the podium, telling the room she took responsibility for what she did.

"I know we're all here because of what I did. I can't change it. I can't go back in time and I just want his family to know that I am so deeply sorry and I would do anything to trade places with him," McFerrin said as she sobbed.

While Rauch's mom asked for the maximum sentence for the death of her first born she did show mercy.

"The bottom line is she [Heather] has to live with that guilt and pain for the rest of her life. Also not something I would wish on my worst enemy," Margaret Rauch said.

"As a family, we forgive you Heather but we will never forget that extensive pain you've inflicted on all of us and we have to live with this for the rest of our lives, why shouldn't you?"

McFerrin will serve at least 15 years, she was credited for 303 days.

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