Rafferty proposed 'Bonnie and Clyde'-style escape
Published Wednesday, March 14, 2012 7:27PM EDT
Warning: Story contains graphic content some readers may find offensive
A convicted killer told an Ontario court her former boyfriend discussed a "Bonnie and Clyde" escape in the days after the murder of Tori Stafford.
Terri-Lynne McClintic testified Wednesday that her then-lover, Michael Rafferty, also tried to arrange an alibi after Tori's disappearance on April 8, 2009.
The evidence came on the second day of disturbing testimony from McClintic, who has already pleaded guilty to first-degree murder. She is serving a life sentence.
Rafferty, who is now on trial in the case, has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder, sexual assault causing bodily harm and kidnapping.
On Wednesday, McClintic testified about the hours and days after Tori went missing on April 8.
McClintic was arrested on an outstanding warrant in the days following Stafford's murder, and was taken to a youth detention centre. She was questioned by police about Tori's disappearance but said she knew nothing.
Rafferty then came to visit her, at which time the couple discussed their story and talked about the possibility of breaking her out and going on the run.
She also assured him she would take the fall for the murder, saying as an "18-year-old junkie" she had less to lose.
Rafferty, now 31, asked her if she understood what that would mean, then joked he had "always wanted conjugal visits," McClintic told the court.
The court also heard that Rafferty wanted to create an alibi that would have put the couple window shopping in Oakville on April 8.
McClintic's notebook was presented as evidence to the court, including pages of hand-scrawled notes outlining alibi scenarios and written in question-and-answer form.
Another note read: "I have never seen T.S. before – I have no information."
When asked by the Crown about her interactions with investigators in the days leading up to being charged in Tori's murder, McClintic acknowledged that she began to co-operate and revealed that she knew more than she had initially let on.
She was eventually charged with abduction, then accessory to murder, and finally the charge was upgraded to first-degree murder.
McClintic said she wrote an apology letter to Tori's mother at one point, and also sat down with a lawyer to write out the details of what had happened on April 8. In that version of events, McClintic claimed Rafferty had committed the actual murder.
She told the court she knew that was untrue, but she couldn't believe what had happened and wanted to convince herself she hadn't killed Tori, saying it went against everything she stood for.
During previous testimony, McClintic said that she met Stafford at her elementary school in Woodstock, Ont., and convinced her to get in Rafferty's car.
McClintic also testified that Rafferty had remarked that Tori "wasn't young enough... that it should have been a younger person."
On Tuesday, McClintic told the jury how Rafferty sexually assaulted Tori, and how she killed the little girl by kicking her and hitting her in the head with a hammer.
On Wednesday, McClintic said Rafferty had earlier taken her to other locations around Woodstock, which he thought would be appropriate for abducting a child, based on the layout of the houses. She said she told him at the time she wasn't interested.
McClintic also told the court about what happened immediately after the murder.
McClintic said they hid Tori's body and drove away from the murder scene, and threw her own shoes out the window on a side road.
They then drove to a gas station in nearby Cambridge to clean the car both inside and out, and change their clothes, court heard.
Then they threw their old clothes in a dumpster, and started driving back to Woodstock, which was about 100 kilometres south of the rural field where the murder occurred.
McClintic also said Rafferty told her to use a knife to cut out two stains from the back seat of the car, which they were unable to wash out.
McClintic also said she smoked marijuana on the day of the murder, took OxyContin and a "handful" of Percocets.
Eventually Rafferty and McClintic arrived back in Woodstock where Rafferty dropped McClintic off at a store near her home, saying he couldn't be seen near her home, and McClintic walked home.
McClintic said Rafferty also told her to change her appearance, and when they met up again he formulated a story, should they be questioned by police.
During her first day of testimony on Tuesday, McClintic recalled how Rafferty had casually brought up the subject of abducting someone. McClintic simply ignored those statements out of a desire to make her relationship work.
But on the day Tori disappeared, McClintic testified that she was high on prescription drugs and riding in Rafferty's car when he pressed her again on kidnapping someone, court heard Tuesday.
As the couple drove past Oliver Stephens Public School, Rafferty asked McClintic to prove that she wasn't simply "all talk."
Moments later, McClintic convinced Tori to get in the car with them with a promise to visit a puppy, court heard.