The defence for for Michael Rafferty, accused of raping and killing the eight-year-old Victoria Stafford, has told the court Terri-Lynne McClintic, the crown’s main witness, is a “prolific and accomplished liar.” Rafferty’s lawyer made the comments in his closing arguments to the jury on Monday.
Stafford disappeared in the spring of 2009 outside a school in Woodstock, Ont. Her body was found months later in a rural area more than two hours away from the school. Rafferty has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder, sexual assault causing bodily harm and kidnapping. McClintic, who pleaded guilty to the first-degree murder of Stafford two years ago, spent six days as the crown’s star witness during Rafferty’s trial, detailing to the court how she and Rafferty had kidnapped, raped and murdered the little girl.
The crown is expected to present its closing arguments after the defence, which could still happen Monday afternoon.
Rafferty’s lawyer, Dirk Derstine, told the jury on Monday they should not believe McClintic on anything, except that she used a hammer to kill Stafford.
From Postmedia News:
“She was just putting on a fantastic performance,” Derstine told jurors, likening her testimony as that of an “Oscar winning actor.”
He told the jury to remember the multiple statements McClintic had made to police after she was arrested. On at least two occasions, she “happily and cheerfully” told investigators she just wanted to help them find the girl and denied any knowledge of the kidnapping.
She was a good liar who knew to include details to make what she was telling them more believable, said Derstine.
The reason she lied, he continued, is that she wants to escape moral responsibility for her actions. If the jury doesn’t believe her, then the Crown’s case is built completely on circumstantial evidence.