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Meaford murder victim's mother 'satisfied' following guilty plea and life sentence for son's killer

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Matthew McQuarrie will spend, at minimum, the next 15 years behind bars for stabbing Emerson Sprung to death and burying him in a shallow grave in a Meaford park more than four years ago.

"I'm satisfied. Sure, I want my baby back, but that's not going to happen. But I know he's not getting out on this side of those bars, ever. Because I'm going to make sure he stays there, forever," said a defiant Tracy Sprung, Sprung's mother.

Less than two weeks into his trial on a charge of first-degree murder, the 39-year-old McQuarrie decided to plead guilty to the lesser charged of second-degree murder on June 12. He was sentenced to life in prison, with no chance of parole for 15 years, on Monday.

"I'm still in shell shock right now. You know that adrenaline rush. Like I know where he is and where he's going to and it's overwhelming," said Tracy.

McQuarrie told court on Monday following his sentencing, "I just hope that me pleading guilty can bring this case finality. After all these years, it's over."

An undated photo of Matthew Mcquarrie, who pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in death of Emerson Sprung. (Source: Facebook)

The court heard that McQuarrie felt that Sprung, who he’d met while the two were previously in police custody together, had inappropriately touched McQuarrie’s four-year-old son.

He reported the incident to police but there was no proof anything inappropriate happened.

Evidence found on McQuarrie’s cell phone included pictures of him holding the murder weapon, and texts saying, “I’m going to record him apologizing, as I cut his throat,” referring to Sprung.

Tracy, who sports a tattoo of her late son on her arm, said she partially blames the court system for releasing McQuarrie shortly before he ended up killing her son.

"I'd like a law after Emerson, called ‘captured and remains until your conviction.’ Right. And yes, if someone gets released, you know, you don't release someone that's a repeat violent offender. Like, who does that?" she said.

Sprung said her goals now are to advocate in her son's memory to restrict catch and release for violent offenders, and ensure Emerson's killer really serves his life sentence.

"Our family on some level right now can begin the healing process. I know it's hard, like where do you go from here, right? We don't have our Emerson anymore. And he was a wonderful soul," said Sprung.

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