Tori Stafford poster found at home of accused killer
Published Thursday, April 5, 2012 6:13PM EDT
LONDON, Ont. - WARNING: Graphic details from this court case may disturb some readers
A hazy picture of the man accused of killing eight-year-old Victoria Stafford began to emerge Thursday, with glimpses of a life filled with both narcotics and fitness, and an apparent love of clothes shopping.
Michael Rafferty's car and the home he shared with his mother in Woodstock, Ont., were searched after his arrest in May 2009, and jurors got a look at what police found, including a missing-girl poster of the child he is alleged to have raped and killed.
Officers were guided in their search by information from Terri-Lynne McClintic, Rafferty's girlfriend, who had days earlier confessed and implicated him, Ontario Provincial Police Const. Gary Scoyne testified.
A black pea coat, like the one McClintic said was used to cover Tori in the back seat of Rafferty's car, was found in his front hall closet, Scoyne said.
Police also found several empty, unlabelled pill bottles and one empty bottle for a prescription of the addictive painkiller Oxycodone in Rafferty's bedroom.
An ex-girlfriend of Rafferty's testified that she would sell him a clear baggie -- one was found in his car -- full of Percocets, an addictive painkiller, containing the same opioid as OxyContin.
Such drugs appear to have been ever-present in Rafferty's life, so much so that he talked frequently about them after his arrest. Police placed two undercover officers in the cells with him and they went to court the next day with him, too, court heard.
Rafferty asked the officers if they had any drugs on them, saying he took either five 80-milligram "Oxy" pills or a dozen 40-milligram pills a day, or between 20 and 30 Percocets.
"It's going to be a hard few days," Rafferty told them.
In the back seat of his car, where Tori was allegedly kept on the floor on the drive to the rural area where she was killed, was a gym bag. A mixture of Tori and Rafferty's blood was found on the bag, the Crown has said.
The bench part of the back seat itself was missing, covered by a blanket.
The interior door and dashboard surfaces of Rafferty's car had been unevenly painted white, and on the rear passenger side door it appeared as though someone had tried to remove the paint, Scoyne said. The window crank was also gone. McClintic testified that it was in that area of the car that Rafferty raped Tori.
Rafferty, 31, has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder, sexual assault causing bodily harm and kidnapping.
Scientists who ran DNA and other tests on several of the items will take the stand Tuesday, the Crown said.
Rafferty was a member of GoodLife Fitness and was arrested in its parking lot, court heard. There was a Men's Health magazine found in his car.
In addition, the back seat and floor of his car were littered with six pairs of shoes and several water bottles of the same brand. More of those water bottles were found scattered in his messy but sparsely decorated bedroom.
The bottles had caps like those found in the garbage bag containing Tori's remains. McClintic testified that after the alleged sexual assault, Rafferty used water bottles from his car to clean himself.
Police also found a receipt from Wal-Mart for two boxes of hair dye. McClintic testified that Rafferty gave her one in the days after Tori went missing on April 8, 2009, and told her to change her appearance.
The other box of hair dye was for a "Frost and Tips" kit. At the time of Rafferty's arrest, his brown hair had blond dye on the tips, court has heard.
McClintic, who is serving a life sentence after pleading guilty to first-degree murder, initially told police she abducted Tori at Rafferty's urging, and that he then raped and killed the girl. However, she recently testified at Rafferty's trial that it was she who used a hammer to kill Tori.
Meanwhile, McClintic made a brief video appearance Thursday in court in Kitchener, Ont., on a charge of assault causing bodily harm arising from an incident Jan. 30 at the Grand Valley Institution for Women.
While McClintic was testifying at Rafferty's trial, court heard that at the end of January she kicked and stomped on another female inmate who was curled on the ground in a fetal position. That is also what McClintic has said happened to Tori before she was killed with blows to the head with a hammer.
In Rafferty's house, a memory card was found in one drawer with pictures of McClintic and several of Rafferty, including one with a big smile on his face.
On Wednesday, the jury saw the results of the search at McClintic's dilapidated home. Rafferty's house was better furnished, although his bedroom had bare walls and few personal effects beyond clothing.
The clothing was plentiful -- in the closet, on a bookshelf, and in shopping bags on the floor of his bedroom and in the back seat and trunk of his car. He was also carrying bags from clothing stores when he was arrested.