Michael Rafferty is no longer an alleged child killer. He is a convicted one.
After a marathon day of deliberations, a jury in London, Ont., reached a guilty verdict Friday night against the man who kidnapped, sexually assaulted and murdered eight-year-old Victoria (Tori) Stafford more than three years ago. The verdict, which carries an automatic sentence of life behind bars with no chance of parole for 25 years, was the climax of a dramatic trial that began on March 5—but did not actually include some of the most damning evidence collected by police.
Because of a faulty search warrant, the judge did not allow prosecutors to show the jury what investigators found on Rafferty’s laptop, including reams of heinous child pornography and Google searches for things like “real underage rape.” In the end, though, the evidence the jury did see proved more than enough. As the jury foreman read the first verdict—”Guilty”—Rafferty closed his eyes.