The jury in the Tori Stafford murder trial returned a verdict Friday evening of guilty on all charges against Michael Rafferty including first-degree-murder, sexual assault causing bodily harm and kidnapping.
Rafferty displayed little emotion as the verdict was read, only closing his eyes. Stafford’s family cried as they heard the verdict.
The trial lasted just over two months and started March 5th, there were 62 witnesses in the trial and close to 200 pieces of evidence.
Rafferty will be sentenced May 15th, but it is a formality as the guilty verdict carries a mandatory life sentence with no chance of parole for 25 years. Tori Stafford’s family will have an oppportunity to read victim impact statements at the sentencing.
CP24 News interviewed Tori’s Father, after the sentence.
Tori’s Father Words
The crime against little Tori Stafford, 8-years-old at the time of her death, was a parent’s absolute worst nightmare – was abducted on her way home from school. She was sexually assaulted, then beaten to death with a hammer and her half-naked body was left on a farm property in Mount Forest, Ontario.
Tori’s mother, Tara McDonald left the court without making any comments to the media, however Rodney Stafford, Tori’s father felt mixed reactions – satisfied with a guilty verdict but still devastated over the loss of his daughter.
No word yet is Rafferty will appeal the verdict.