The crown has completed their phase of presenting evidence and witnesses in the trial of Michael Rafferty. The 31 year old man is charged with kidnapping, sexual assault and murder in the death of 8 year old Tori Stafford.
The 8 year old was allowed to walk home a short distance from school on that day, in fact the first day she had been permitted to do so, and was reported missing a short time later.
The key witness in the trial against Rafferty was his ex-girlfriend, Terry-Lynn McClintic, who told the court that she delivered the fatal blows following Rafferty’s sexual assault on the youngster. In previous conversations, McClintic suggested that she take the entire blame for the crime to Rafferty, stating that she had nothing to lose. A statement that she later recanted on with police.
Store and surveillance video footage was used to place Rafferty and his car along the route that McClintic described the pair as taking with the missing Woodstock girl. Tracking of his BBM and cellphone usage was also used to place Rafferty at various places along the way to the place where Tori was killed. The crown also presented witnesses stating that Rafferty’s rear car seat had been in the car prior to the assault and death of Tori on April 8th, 2009, but then was suddenly noticed as missing in the week following. Three neighbours testified to the car seat buried below and amongst other items being at the curb for garbage pickup. The car seat was never found. Some DNA traces were retrieved from the remainder of the accused’s car. In a surprise testimony a witness for the crown noted that she had been running an escort service with Rafferty and had reportedly given him thousands in the way of payment for selling her sexual favours. The stated that she believed that she and Rafferty were “exclusive”. Rafferty met and dated dozens of women in the weeks and months just prior to and immediately after the death of Tori having met them through an online dating site Plenty Of Fish. All this at a time when he was dating McClintic and allegedly planning to kidnap a young girl. In a chillingly horrifying statement, one witness stated that Rafferty was joking about going out and catching Tori’s killer.
The Crown has instructed the jury that they must come to a decision on whether or no Rafferty and McClintic acted together in Tori’s death.