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Collard receives max sentence for 1980 murder of wife

"They ask, and we ask, that you sentence him to a place that he deserves to stay for the rest of his life," Sprague said.

Along with the sentence, Sprague also asked for $5,523.82 in restitution costs and that orders of protection be issued for all three children. The order for Thomas Collard Jr., was rescinded at the request of the defense.

Judge Richard Meyer agreed to the agreement.

"There is nothing that I can do here today to make up for what you have done, this court is powerless to do that" Meyer said. "You have deprived your children of their mother, and that is unforgivable - and just as horrendous, you gave them a false hope that they would see her again. Worse, you also placed in their minds the thought that their mother had abandoned them."

Meyer credited the police officers who had continued to work the case, including Troop B Bureau of Criminal Investigations Capt. Robert LaFountain and then offered his opinion, on the record, for the parole board that may hear Collard's request eight years from now.

"Under no circumstance in my view should they ever let you out before you serve all of that 24 years," Meyer said as Collard looked directly at him throughout the sentencing.

Sprague later said that while she was uncomfortable offering a plea agreement in the case, she did so at the request of the family.

"This will give the power back to Tammy and her family," Sprague said.

As for Thomas Collard, he offered no statement as he was sentenced, but did say one thing as he was escorted from the courthouse.

"Just, I didn't do it."

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