McClintic stands by her testimony in Stafford trial
Published Friday, March 16, 2012 4:28PM EDT
Terri-Lynne McClintic turned down a chance to change her testimony Friday in the first-degree murder trial of her former boyfriend.
McClintic took the stand this week and is the key witness in the trial of Michael Rafferty, who is charged in the April 2009 death of eight-year-old Tori Stafford.
Rafferty, 31, has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder, as well as to sexual assault causing bodily harm and kidnapping.
During disturbing testimony this week, the 21-year-old McClintic told the court that she inflicted fatal blows to Tori by kicking and hitting her head with a hammer.
But the issue of credibility was raised in court this week, and the jury was told of a confession from McClintic dated May 24, 2009.
That confession came five days after McClintic was charged in Tori's death. In the 2009 confession, McClintic said Rafferty killed Tori.
McClintic pleaded guilty two years ago to Stafford's murder. She is serving a life sentence with no chance of parole for 25 years.
When asked Friday why she once blamed Rafferty for the death, McClintic said that her intention was to ensure that Rafferty would never be able to harm a child again.
But the jury was instructed by the judge that they cannot rely on the 2009 statement, and to use only McClintic's testimony from this week.
Earlier in the week, McClintic told the court she kidnapped Tori outside her Woodstock, Ont., school. She said they then drove to a rural area more than 100 kilometres away where Rafferty sexually assaulted the girl.
There was no testimony Thursday as the judge and lawyers discussed legal issues. Since the jury was not allowed to be present for those discussions, what was said cannot be reported.
In reference to McClintic's earlier statements, the court heard that she couldn't believe what had happened, and wanted to convince herself she hadn't killed Tori. She said it went against everything she stood for.
If convicted of murder, Rafferty faces a life sentence.