STAMFORD — A tragedy that played out over a year ended Friday when Mark Lynch, a New Canaan father accused of giving his son heroin that caused his fatal overdose, was sentenced to three years in prison.

Lynch pleaded guilty to charges of criminally negligent homicide and sale of narcotics in connection with the death of his 25-year-old son, Chris Lynch, in September 2016. Following his prison time, he will face seven years of special parole.

Lynch appeared in Stamford Superior Court for sentencing on Dec. 15, alongside his attorney, Matthew Maddox, and several visibly upset members of the Lynch family. Judge John Blawie presided.

“The defendant violated the most sacred responsibility of a man who brings a child into this world,” he said before handing down the sentence.

At Blawie’s urging, Lynch spoke publicly about his son’s death for the first time since his arrest during his sentencing.

“Chris was my best friend,” Lynch said. “He was the love of my life. I miss him dearly...I’ve felt really, really terrible about the whole thing for over a year and I always will.”

Lynch’s statements were prompted after the court heard State’s Attorney Richard Colangelo read a letter from Chris Lynch’s mother, Pam Bacco, who was previously married to Mark Lynch. Bacco lives in Colorado and could not attend the sentencing.

In the letter, she described the life of her son — from the time he was an “easy baby” to a teenager — as humorous and kind.

“Chris was a young man with everything to look forward to in life,” Colangelo read from the letter.

Bacco’s letter reiterated the events leading up to her son’s premature death, including his struggle with addiction and how he thrived in his sobriety after moving to Colorado with her and her husband. She urged the courts not to excuse her ex-husband’s behavior because of his own struggles with addiction, writing the elder Lynch has shown no remorse since their son’s passing and didn’t contribute to Chris Lynch’s funeral.

“His actions show he only cared about himself in the last few hour’s of Christopher’s life,” Colangelo read. “When my son died, part of me went with him. I’ll never recover from Christopher’s death.”

John Blawie then asked for a statement from Lynch in response to the accusations in the letter. Maddox told Blawie the court had not seen the remorse from Lynch.

“We work in a vortex of life where we see varying degrees of tragedy,” Maddox said. “What happened to this family is a horrible tragedy.”

However, Blawie told Maddox he wanted to hear from Lynch himself in response to Bacco’s letter, despite the attorney’s protests. Maddox argued Lynch took a plea deal to avoid the heartache of a trial and these sorts of testimonies. Maddox also said Bacco was hateful toward Lynch, to which Blawie asked who wouldn’t be in their circumstances.

Eventually, Maddox gave his client the chance to speak, but Blawie did not seem moved by the elder Lynch’s statement.

Maddox also agreed his client would return some of Christopher Lynch’s electronics to Pam Bacco.

Lynch was handcuffed and led away.; @erin_kayata