Terri-Lynne McClintic testified in a packed London, Ont. courtroom today, where she was called to the witness stand by the Crown in the trial of Michael Rafferty, who has pleaded not guilty to first degree murder in the 2009 killing of 8-year-old Tori Stafford. McClintic, now 21, spoke of her upbringing and her relationship with Rafferty. She also described her version of events on April 8, 2009, the day Stafford was abducted on her way home from school in her hometown of Woodstock, Ont.
McClintic is already serving a life sentence, having confessed to participating in the kidnapping and murder of the Grade 3 student.
Speaking from the witness box, McClintic told of how she approached Stafford in the afternoon as she walked alone out of her school. She said Rafferty was waiting in his nearby car, as she asked Stafford if she would like to see her Shih Tzu dog. “That’s how she ended up in the back of the vehicle,” McClintic said. According to McClintic, she pushed Stafford into the backseat, after which Rafferty drove them out of Toronto along Highway 401. She said Rafferty took the battery out of his cellphone and that he told her cover Stafford up with a black pea coat in the backseat. McClintic told the court that as she spoke with Stafford, the little girl told her that her favourite colour is purple, her favourite TV show is Hannah Montana and her favourite holiday is Halloween.
Earlier, McClintic also spoke of her troubled youth, saying she was bullied and started smoking marijuana when she was 8. “My day to day routine was getting high,” she was quoted as saying by the CBC. “That was pretty much it.”
McClintic said she met Rafferty for the first time at a pizza joint in February 2009, months after she moved to Woodstock. They began a sexual relationship, and Rafferty would regularly visit her mother’s home to buy drugs, she testified. “When it was just the good things, he was great,” she was quoted as saying by Postmedia. “He always said all the right things. He knew how to make you feel good.”
Rafferty reportedly wrote notes throughout McClintic’s testimony.