Tori Stafford murder trial gets underway


SLM
#1
LONDON, ONT. - As the trial begins for the man accused of murder in the death of eight-year-old Victoria (Tori) Stafford, the victim's father says he finds it difficult that more people seem to be aware of the name of her accused killer than of Tori's.

Michael Rafferty, 31, has pleaded not guilty to charges of murder, sexual assault causing bodily harm and kidnapping in the April 2009 death of Tori. His trial started here Monday.

“It’s not about Rafferty. It’s about a little girl who lost her life,” Rodney Stafford said.

The father of the dead girl faces spending up to three months in a courtroom with the man accused of killing Tori. “It’s heartbreaking because there’s nothing you can do or say.”

He said his emotions have run the gamut over the past three years.

“Up down all over the place. It’s hard to explain. You can’t even put it into words. One song can change your total demeanour from being positive into being a whimpering fool.”

Stafford spoke to reporters after the trial was abruptly halted and both main and overflow courtrooms were cleared by security after Justice Thomas Heeney finished his initial address to the jury outlining their duties and the workings of the trial.

No reason was given for the clearing but it does not appear to be related to a security threat.

Several of Tori’s family members, including her father, grandmother and uncle, wore purple ribbons and purple clothing. The colour was Tori’s favourite. Her grandmother, Doreen Graichen, also wore a butterfly pendant, another Tori favourite.

Graichen said she’s been bracing herself for years to hear the evidence in court. “I don’t think I can ever say I’m prepared to hear it,” she said, but added, “Nothing can be any worse that what I imagined all along anyway.”

Through the morning proceedings, Rafferty remained mostly expressionless, dressed in a grey suit, light-coloured shirt and blue-striped tie.

The trial was expected to continue later Monday with a meeting behind closed doors, followed by opening statements by Crown attorney Kevin Gowdey and Rafferty’s lawyer, Dirk Derstine.

Media descended on the courthouse this morning. Reporters started lining up about 5:30 a.m. for the 10 a.m. start to ensure they would get a spot in the main courtroom on the 14th floor. An overflow room with video monitors is on the sixth floor.

The trial shows signs of attracting the same level of media and public interest Tori’s disappearance did three years ago.

She was seen on a surveillance video walking home after school April 8, 2009, with an unknown woman.

The existence of the video, criticism of the initial police investigation, and the pleas from her worried, estranged parents who daily painted a picture of a feisty and funny little girl sparked an explosion of interest in mainstream and social media.

The mystery woman in the video, Terri-Lynne McClintic, confessed to police in May 2009 that she was the woman in the video.

McClintic, 21, pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in April 2010 and was sentenced to life in prison.

She is expected to be a key witness in Rafferty’s trial.
Tori Stafford murder trial gets underway | Ontario | News | Toronto Sun

************************************************** ***************

I remember seeing that little girl's face on a missing poster on a telephone pole on my street. I was actually walking down the street with my own daughter at the time. It really hit home. I remember how the focus in the early days of her disappearance of both the police and the media was on the mother. I remember the day they found her remains.


I saw video earlier of her father speaking about how no one he spoke to in the past several days knew who is daughter was but they all knew the name of her killer. That was heartbreaking to watch. I will be making a very concerted effort to refer to this as the Victoria Stafford murder trial. I think everyone should.

It's a good thing I didn't get notice for jury duty. There's no way I could be impartial.

I hope beyond all hope that these animals that did this never again see the light of day.
 
L Gilbert
+2
#2  Top Rated Post
I can't imagine how anyone could do crap like this. I can say that if it were me, I'd sure want to manually dismember the sunnuvabitch.
 
spaminator
#3
kind of reminds me of paul bernardo and karla homolka.
 
SLM
#4
Quote: Originally Posted by spaminatorView Post

kind of reminds me of paul bernardo and karla homolka.

Reminds me of them too. Hope neither see the light of day again.
 
spaminator
#5
McClintic admits hitting Tori Stafford with hammer
Terri-Lynne told 8-year-old, 'I'm sorry'



Hank Daniszewski, QMI Agency
First posted: Tuesday, March 13, 2012 11:08 AM EDT | Updated: Wednesday, March 14, 2012 11:15 AM EDT

LONDON, ONT. - WARNING: CONTAINS GRAPHIC LANGUAGE
In startling and often gruesome testimony, Terri-Lynne McClintic admitted she dealt the hammer blows that killed eight-year-old Tori Stafford.
Testifying at the murder trial of Michael Rafferty on Tuesday, McClintic said she and Rafferty kidnapped Stafford on April 8, 2009.
She said Rafferty had talked to her about kidnapping someone, and he dared her to go through with it.
McClintic, 21, lured Stafford from Oliver Stephens school in Woodstock, Ont., promising to show her a puppy.
They then drove the girl to an isolated rural area north of Guelph.
McClintic said she got out of the car at that location and later saw Rafferty sexually assaulting Stafford in the back seat.
She said both Rafferty and Stafford were only wearing shirts.
McClintic said she took Stafford to go pee outside after the first assaults, and held her hand so the girl wouldn't fall.
"There was blood on the snow. I told her I was sorry," McClintic said.
"Just don't let him do it again," Tori pleaded.
"I told her that she was a very strong girl," McClintic recalled, "and she said,' like you?' And I said, 'no, you are much stronger.'"
McClintic said the crime made her "flash back" to her own terrible childhood, marked by physical and emotional abuse, violence and drug addiction.
"I was that age again," she said, apparently referring to Stafford.
"All the anger and rage boiled up inside me," she testified.
She said she hit Stafford "maybe three" times with a claw hammer that she'd bought that afternoon in Guelph.
She said the girl wasn't moving, but was making noises.
"I savagely murdered that little girl," a tearful McClintic testified.
McClintic testified Rafferty then cleaned blood off himself with bottled water.
They wrapped Stafford's body in garbage bags, she said, and carried it a short distance and covered it with rocks.
Rafferty has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder, sexual assault causing bodily harm and kidnapping.
McClintic, the crown's star witness against Rafferty, pleaded guilty in April 2010 to first-degree murder in Stafford's death and was sentenced to life in prison.
On Tuesday, McClintic testified she first met Rafferty at a pizza place in Woodstock in February 2009 and was immediately charmed.
The two had sex in Rafferty's car the same day and started a relationship.
McClintic, an Oxycontin addict at the time, said she also supplied Rafferty with the opiate drug.
"He was someone I cared for. I only wanted to see the good things," she said.
Earlier, McClintic described a terrible childhood. She said her birth mother was a stripper who gave her away to a friend, Carol McClintic, to raise.
When she was still a baby she said she was physically abused. She was born in Woodstock but the family moved frequently mainly in the Guelph area and northern Ontario. She started taking drugs when she was eight years old and soon amassed a juvenile criminal record, mainly for assaults.
The trial continues Wednesday with more testimony from McClintic.
hank.daniszewski@sunmedia.ca (external - login to view)

McClintic admits hitting Tori Stafford with hammer | Ontario | News | Toronto Sun
 
lone wolf
#6
Quote: Originally Posted by spaminatorView Post

kind of reminds me of paul bernardo and karla homolka.

I'm thinking the same.... I hope she doesn't get to play a "poor victim" card - or he doesn't get to take advantage of it.
 
mentalfloss
#7
I try to stay away from stories like this, but I'm surprised they get so much coverage.
 
SLM
#8
Quote: Originally Posted by lone wolfView Post

I'm thinking the same.... I hope she doesn't get to play a "poor victim" card - or he doesn't get to take advantage of it.

She already has a life sentence, so it's not going to be the same as Homolka in that regard. And from what I understood of the judge's instructions to the jury, they don't need to find that he acted specifically only that he participated in order to find him guilty.
 
#juan
+1
#9
McClintic led Tori to her death. Rafferty was involved. Here are two ideal reasons to bring back the death penalty. This pair of
a$$holes richly deserve to be hung.
 
Ariadne
#10
I have to give McClintic some credit for admitting what she did, helping locate the body and sparing the family the trial. Rafferty is slime for trying to get away with what he did and trying to put it all on his girlfriend.
 
spaminator
#11
Quote: Originally Posted by AriadneView Post

I have to give McClintic some credit for admitting what she did, helping locate the body and sparing the family the trial. Rafferty is slime for trying to get away with what he did and trying to put it all on his girlfriend.

its possible she might have been given a deal.
 
Ariadne
#12
Quote: Originally Posted by spaminatorView Post

its possible she might have been given a deal.

There was no deal. She was convicted of first degree murder and given the full 25 years in prison before being elligible for parole.
 
SLM
#13
Quote: Originally Posted by spaminatorView Post

its possible she might have been given a deal.

They released some of the information last December I believe about her plea and sentencing.


Quote:

Judge McDermid also said it was important for the public to know that Ms. McClintic made no plea bargain with the Crown, and that she got the mandatory penalty of a life sentence. “She could not and did not receive a reduced sentence in return for her plea,” he said.

A killer's plea revealed: Court lifts ban on Tori Stafford murder case - The Globe and Mail
 
Ariadne
#14
Here's some evidence from the trial

Rafferty trial evidence | Rafferty Trial | London | News | London Free Press (external - login to view)

Agreed upon facts

http://www.cbc.ca/news/pdf/agreed-st...c-stafford.pdf
 
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