Tori Stafford's killer seeks compensation for transfer from healing lodge to prison
Published Tuesday, May 14, 2019 5:22PM EDT
A woman convicted of killing an eight-year-old Ontario girl is taking legal action against the federal government, claiming that her highly publicized transfer from a healing lodge to a prison robbed her of her freedom.
In a legal application filed April 30, Terri-Lynne McClintic claims that the decision to move her from the Okimaw Ohci Healing Lodge to the Edmonton Institution for Women was “unreasonable and procedurally unfair, and therefore unlawful.”
McClintic pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in connection with the 2009 death of Tori Stafford, who was abducted and killed while on her way home from school by McClintic and her then-boyfriend Michael Rafferty.
She received an automatic life sentence, and returned to national headlines last fall when she was moved to the lodge from prison. Correctional officials ultimately returned McClintic to the Grand Valley Institution for Women in Kitchener, Ont.
According to a court decision, the application by McClintic lists the Correctional Service of Canada, the Department of Justice, Public Safety Canada, and the wardens of Okimaw Ohci and Grand Valley as respondents. It claims that McClintic suffered a loss of liberty by being returned to prison.
Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta Justice John T. Henderson was asked to rule on whether the transfer was lawful and, if not, what compensation McClintic should receive.
He put McClintic’s application on hold, giving her 14 days to explain why the case should be heard in Alberta, given she is currently in an Ontario prison, and why it should proceed at all, given she has not provided any facts to back up her claim of a loss of liberty.
“It appears that Ms. McClintic’s application is not currently supported by any evidence. There are no facts before the Court,” he wrote.
Rodney Stafford, Tori’s father, had asked to be “kept in the loop” for any updates on McClintic, but told CTV News Channel he only heard about the legal action through the news.
“(I was) rather upset they would even consider allowing her to attempt this,” he said. “It’s not right. If anyone should be compensated, it should be the families.”
McClintic’s legal action was raised in the House of Commons on Tuesday, by Conservative MP Glen Motz.
“Will the government commit to fight her attempts at getting any taxpayer dollars [and] put her back behind bars, where she belongs?” Motz asked during question period.
Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale responded that the government would “very strongly defend its position.”