Sudbury mom mourning her brutally murdered son, slow pace of justice

Two years have passed since Patrick McGregor was stabbed, run over and left for dead near a busy intersection in New Sudbury.

Only a few hundred metres away from this gruesome scene lived his mother Christine, whom he had visited that same night, treating her to dinner at Wendy’s before meeting up with a childhood acquaintance.

The next morning, she received the news no parent anticipates. A detective with the Greater Sudbury Police Service was insistent he wanted to meet her and once inside her small basement apartment, told her that she should sit down to hear what he had to say.

There would be no more visits from her 30-year-old son. No more dinners shared between them. Instead, she would be planning a funeral.

“I feel so lost now,” said Christine. “At dinner, I’m sitting around the table and I still have my ear on the door, waiting for him to come in. He was always loud and I was always listening for him. Even when I pick up my phone, I’m expecting to see Pat.”

Christine sits in the same living room she learned of her son’s fate on a sunny September day, accompanied by her daughter Jessica.

Christine is devastated that the family will have to wait another year and a half — until early 2025 — before the man accused of killing her son stands for trial. She’s also frightened that the accusd could be released on bail before then. Christine says she’s lost faith in the justice system and, specifically, the bail system. Her son’s alleged murderer is facing charges in relation to other violent offences that occurred months before and days after the murder.

Christine’s apartment walls are adorned with photos of Patrick, whom she describes as a larger-than-life character who loved his mom just as much as he loved jewelry.

“He would do anything for you,” said Christine. “He was a nice, jolly guy, always cheerful. There’s not one person who had anything bad to say about Pat. He’s never even been in a fight, but I know what he does, I know about the drugs.”

Unconventional relationship

Patrick was involved in the illicit drug trade, had spent time in jail and was about to turn himself in again for breaching his conditions when he was murdered. He shared with his mother his frustration of trying to stay away from the drug scene, but the temptation – and the people - were too strong to resist. He feared he would get out of jail and they would be there to welcome him back.

“He brightened my day,” Christine said between tears. “He was a really good guy.”

Christine keeps replaying in her head the last night she saw her son alive.

The mother said that on the way to dinner at Wendy’s, her son received a call from a childhood acquaintance. He wanted a gram and a half of blow in exchange for a $750 chain necklace. Patrick couldn’t resist the deal. Christine thought it sounded suspicious. It must be said that Christine and Patrick had an unconventional mother-son relationship. She wanted her son to tell her everything, she promised not to judge him. Tell her both the good and the bad, she said. This was indeed the bad. Still, she told him to be careful. She loved him.

“Knowing Pat, he was not a fighter, he was a chicken,” she said. “If something was going down, he’d be running. He would run from bumblebees.”

While what occurred during the meet-up between the two men is a matter before the courts, Christine believes the attack was unprovoked. Her son was stabbed and then run over with his own car – a red Dodge Magnum.

“He loved that car. That was his baby,” said Christine. “It breaks my heart to know the last thing he saw was his car about to run him over.”

Trial not scheduled until 2025

On Sept. 9, 2021, Greater Sudbury Police charged Edgar Kyle Smith with a homicide in New Sudbury that occurred two days before. At the time, he was charged with first-degree murder and fleeing the scene of an accident after he allegedly stabbed and then ran over a 30-year-old man near the intersection of Notre Dame Avenue and Lasalle Boulevard.

Other charges included dangerous operation of a motor vehicle, possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose, failure to stop at the scene of a collision and failure to comply with a release order.

Trial dates for early February 2025 are scheduled for Smith who remains in police custody. Defence lawyer Mary Cremer’s busy schedule is the reason for the delay in the trial.

Smith is also facing charges arising from a convenience store robbery in New Sudbury two days after the alleged murder. In that case, he is charged with robbery, possession of a weapon and two counts of failing to comply with a release order.

In addition, Smith was also one of two men charged in relation to a carjacking that took place in Chelmsford in April 2021. In relation to the carjacking, Smith was charged with using a firearm while committing an offence, possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose, unauthorized possession of a firearm, unauthorized possession of a motor vehicle, assault with a weapon (two counts), pointing a firearm, theft of motor vehicle, mischief to property under $5,000, and break and enter.

At the time, Smith was also wanted on two outstanding warrants for fraud under $5,000 and assault.

- with files from Harold Carmichael.

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Laura Stradiotto, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Sudbury Star