LONDON, Ont. — A jury is hearing that when Victoria Stafford was abducted outside her elementary school the man accused in the case said she wasn’t young enough.
That testimony is coming from Terri-Lynne McClintic, who is serving a life sentence after pleading guilty to first-degree murder in the Grade 3 student’s death.
McClintic, on the stand for a second day at Michael Rafferty’s first-degree murder trial, says after she shoved Tori into the car Rafferty said “she wasn’t young enough… that it should have been a younger person.”
Rafferty has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder, sexual assault causing bodily harm and kidnapping.
McClintic also told the court today that she originally told police Rafferty killed the girl — but she testified in court this week that she did it.
Court has heard that Tori was killed on April 8, 2009, and that McClintic was arrested on another matter on April 12.
She says Rafferty came to visit her in the detention centre, worried that she would say something to police that would implicate him, but she told him she would take the fall for everything.
McClintic also says she wrote her recollection of the events of April 8 in a letter to her lawyer while in detention, including that Rafferty was the one who killed Tori with blows to the head from a hammer.
McClintic said Wednesday that she couldn’t really believe what happened and that she couldn’t believe she was capable of murder.
“It was against everything that I believe in, everything that I stand for,” she said about the events of April 8.
The letter to her lawyer represented “what I wanted to be true, the truth that I wanted to believe,” she added.
“That’s what I told myself was true. So that was the recollection of everything that had happened and everything was true up to the point of the murder.”
McClintic testified Tuesday that she abducted Tori outside her Woodstock, Ont., school at the urging of Rafferty, who wanted a “young female.”
They drove more than 100 kilometres north to a rural area where he sexually assaulted the Grade 3 student, then McClintic used a hammer to kill Tori with blows to the head, she said.
Rafferty, wearing an ill-fitting three-piece suit, frequently smirked and muttered to himself throughout McClintic’s testimony.
McClintic’s name came up in tips almost immediately after Tori was reported missing, court has heard, and after police found out she had an outstanding warrant she was arrested May 12 for a parole violation.
Rafferty visited her at the youth detention centre and she assured him she wouldn’t implicate him if police asked her about Tori, she said.
“I said that I would take the fall for everything, that I would say it was all me, that he had more to lose than I did,” McClintic said.
She further told him, “he had a life, a job, things going for him and I was just, I really had nothing,” court heard. “I said don’t worry about it, it’s OK. It’s OK. I’m just an 18-year-old junkie anyways.”
Rafferty told her, “you realize what that would consist of right?” and added, “I’ve always wanted conjugal visits.”
During another visit, the couple talked about McClintic running away from the detention centre, court heard.
“He said maybe we could be like the next Bonnie and Clyde,” she said.
Rafferty appeared to scoff Wednesday when McClintic said that and stared up at the ceiling, muttering to himself.