Much of Rafferty's trial was taken up by the Crown's case, whichincluded 61 witnesses over the course of eight weeks. The defence,on the other hand, spent just one day introducing evidence. The prosecution's case centred on Terri-Lynne McClintic, whoprovided chilling testimony over the course of two weeks in Marchabout the last moments of Tori's life. McClintic pleaded guilty twoyears ago to first-degree murder in Tori's death. |
The 21-year-old told jurors she lured Tori to Rafferty's car afterhe asked her to abduct a little girl. The pair then drove the Grade3 student first to Guelph, where McClintic bought a hammer andgarbage bags, and then to Mount Forest. McClintic testified she watched Rafferty repeatedly rape Toribefore she became overcome with rage, and beat the girl to deathwith a hammer. Michael Rafferty has been found guilty of first-degree murder,sexual assault causing bodily harm and kidnapping.
(Dave Chidley/Canadian Press) Defence lawyer Derstine attacked McClintic's credibility duringcross-examination, noting she had a history of violent incidents.McClintic stabbed one man, left her adoptive mother partially blindfollowing an assault and put a small dog in a microwave when shewas a child. She also dramatically changed her story just days before the startof pretrial motions in January by saying she, and not Rafferty,killed Tori. Since agreeing to help police in May 2009, McClintichad made a number of statements alleging Rafferty delivered thefatal blows. Derstine again sought to cast McClintic's testimony as unreliableduring closing arguments, calling her a "prolific and accomplishedliar." He suggested McClintic was the "engine" behind the abductionand Rafferty was simply a horrified spectator.
Prosecutors tried to strengthen McClintic's version of the eventsof April 8, 2009, by introducing a combination of DNA evidence,surveillance video and phone records linking Rafferty to theabduction and death. A blood stain found in Rafferty's vehicle was almost certainly amatch to Tori, a forensic biologist testified. Cellphone experts said Rafferty's BlackBerry was used in Woodstock,Guelph and near Mount Forest on April 8, 2009. The records appearedto match the timeline of events presented by McClintic. Terri-Lynne McClintic is serving a life sentence after pleadingguilty to first-degree murder in April 2010.
(Canadian Press) The jury also heard that Tori's remains were too decomposed todetermine whether she had been sexually assaulted. The Crown called as witnesses more than a dozen women Raffertydated during the spring of 2009, many at the same time, and severalhe met in the days following Tori's disappearance. One woman,Charity Spitzig, said Rafferty asked her to work as a prostituteand she gave him almost $17,000 over a six-month period. That testimony prompted Justice Heeney to warn the jury thatRafferty's character was not on trial.
Jurors were unaware that Rafferty had searched for child pornography in the months before Tori's disappearance, including queriesrelated to the violent sexual assault of underage children. That information was deemed inadmissible after police failed to getproper authorization to search the contents of his laptop andBlackBerry, although the Crown tried unsuccessfully to reintroducethe evidence in April. With files from CBC's Jon Hembrey and The Canadian Press.
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