Convicted killer Terri-Lynne McClintic offered up graphic and emotional testimony Tuesday at the murder trial of Michael Rafferty, who stands accused of first degree murder, sexual assault causing bodily harm and abduction for the kidnapping and killing of 8-year-old Tori Stafford. He has pleaded not guilty.
The day culminated with McClintic’s telling of how she inflicted fatal blows to the Grade 3 student’s head with a hammer after Rafferty drove them into a field outside Guelph, Ont. According to McClintic—until now widely assumed to have been nothing more than an accomplice—she dealt the fatal blows to the 8-year-old before she and Rafferty buried the little girl’s body beneath a pile of rocks. Her testimony painted Rafferty as the conspirator and director of the crime.
Before wielding the hammer, McClintic said Rafferty sexually assaulted Stafford in the car. McClintic said she stood several feet away, and starting having “flashbacks” to the way she was treated as a child. “All the anger and hate and rage that I’d had, and blame that I’d built up towards myself, came boiling up out of me,” she told the court, adding that she felt like she had to do something. That’s when she approached Stafford, who was lying on the ground, and began kicking her, she said. Then she hit her several times with the hammer.
At that point, with the packed courtroom reportedly in shock, Justice Thomas Heeney ended the days proceedings.