The biggest news story in Canada for the past few weeks has been the trial of Michael Rafferty, the man accused of kidnapping, sexually assaulting and murdering 8-year-old Tori Stafford from Woodstock, Ont.
The trial, which began last week, has been closely followed by media outlets every day. During this past week, Rafferty’s former girlfriend Terri-Lynn McClintic, took the stand and revealed some disturbing details about the abduction and murder of Stafford.
McClintic pleaded guilty to first degree murder in 2010. She is currently serving a life sentence with no chance of parole for 25 years.
When she was arrested and charged, McClintic told police that Rafferty was the one who killed the little girl. However, now her story is unfolding. McClintic told the court that she had kidnapped Stafford outside her school, and then drove around 100km away, where Rafferty sexually assaulted the girl. At one point, it was said in court that Rafferty said that Stafford “wasn’t young enough”. McClintic went on to describe how she killed Stafford by kicking her and smashing her head with a hammer. Afterwards, once Rafferty “cleaned up”, the couple moved the body to a rock pile in a field near Mount Forest, Ontario. Her body was found 3 months later, where she was only wearing her Hanna Montana shirt, and earrings.
McClintic, who had anger issues before the murder, says she knew her previous statement to police was untrue, but couldn’t believe what happened and wanted to convince herself that she didn’t murder Stafford. She said it went against everything she stood for. She said that Rafferty had shown previous signs of dark sexual desires, and continuously mentioned he wanted to “kidnap someone”.
Family and those who know Stafford expressed their sadness as they told the court how sweet of a girl she was. Her grade three teacher took the stand and told the court about the last time she saw Stafford alive, and how she was jumping in puddles and remembers the butterfly earrings she was wearing.
Tori’s parents, Rodney Stafford and Tara MacDonald, also have spoken to the court.
MacDonald says she had an addiction to OxyContin. She had gone to McClintic’s home twice, where she bought the drugs off of Terri’s mother, Carol. This is when MacDonald and Terri met, and according to Macdonald, Terri was high on something.
The trial is expected to go on for months, as new facts and statements are brought forward. Upon conviction, Rafferty pleaded not guilty to murder, however if convicted, he faces a life sentence.