McFerrin, 34, was then sentenced to 15-25 years prison for the April 15, 2017, stabbing death of Rauch, a 26-year-old Allendale man.
“I just know we’re all here because of what I did,” the Walker woman said, sobbing. “I would do anything to trade places with him.”
Ottawa County Judge Jon Hulsing told McFerrin that what she’d taken could not be replaced.
“You’ve taken away his future, his present,” Hulsing said. “It’s ironic — he was trying to be a peacemaker.”
Hulsing noted that Rauch was trying to break up an argument on the street in the Allendale Meadows Mobile Home Park when McFerrin stabbed him once in the chest.
Rauch and McFerrin knew each other, but were not believed to be in a relationship, Capt. Mark Bennett of the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office said for an earlier story. The investigation revealed that the two were at a home on Snow Mass Lane near Boyne Boulevard, went into the street and an altercation led to the stabbing, Bennett said.
“This is the hardest thing I’ve ever encountered in my life,” Margaret Rauch said about her son’s death. “There was a time he considered Heather a friend.”
Margaret Rauch said the family would never forget the extended pain that McFerrin inflicted on all of them.
Hulsing noted that the sentence was not commensurate with the end result, but he was following the guidelines in the case. He also gave McFerrin credit for 303 days already served in jail.