Many will be following court proceedings in London, Ont., today as Terri-Lynne McClintic takes the stand in the Tori Stafford murder trial, where 31-year-old Michael Rafferty has pleaded not guilty to first degree murder, sexual assault and kidnapping.
Stafford was abducted on her way home from school on April 8, 2009. In a police surveillance video used as evidence in the trial, a woman wearing a white coat can be seen escorting the little girl away from her Woodstock Ont., public school, where she attended Grade 3. That woman is McClintic. Stafford’s body was found in a field three months later, more than 100 km away.
McClintic, 21, has confessed to first degree murder for her role in the kidnapping and killing of the 8-year-old girl and is already serving a life sentence. As a a key witness for the Crown, she is expected to remain on the stand for several days as she describes the events that led to Stafford’s death.
Last week, Stafford’s mother Tara McDonald testified that she had previously met McClintic twice; once when she accompanied her partner to buy OxyContin from McClintic’s mother, and another time when discussing dog breeding. McDonald also told the court she had struggled with drug addiction, and had taken OxyContin the day her daughter went missing. She said her daughter did not know McClintic before she was abducted.
The Crown has warned that McClintic’s testimony will be disturbing.