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Tori Stafford trial

Trial focus shifts to Rafferty residence

Randy Richmond, QMI Agency

Related Attachment(s)

LONDON, ONT. - 

Several items found inside Michael Rafferty's house and car -- as well as two things missing from the vehicle -- caught the attention of police investigating the abduction of eight-year-old Tori Stafford, a jury heard Thursday.

The items missing were the window crank on the rear passenger side and the back seat of his 2003 Honda Civic.

The back seat is where co-accused Terri-Lynne McClintic said Rafferty sexually assaulted the eight-year-old Woodstock, Ont., girl after kidnapping her April 8, 2009.

The items found were receipts, photographs, clothing, water bottles and a knife linking Rafferty to McClintic and her version of how that kidnapping played out.

Rafferty has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder, kidnapping and sexual assault causing bodily harm in Tori's death.

Tori was eight when she disappeared while walking home from school in Woodstock. Her body was found July 19, 2009, near Mount Forest, badly beaten and left in garbage bags under a pile of rocks

McClintic, his girlfriend when Tori went missing, pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in April 2010 and is serving a life sentence.

She testified against Rafferty, although in doing so she placed her violent past under the microscope.

Jurors got a first glimpse into Rafferty's life Thursday, viewing photographs taken inside his mother's Woodstock house, where he lived, and inside his car.

Inside, in a side-table drawer, police found a copy of the missing poster for Tori.

The jury also viewed several exhibits taken from the house and car after Rafferty's arrest on May 19, 2009. Inside the house, police found a black pea coat, a water bottle and a blue knife without a blade.

McClintic testified Tori was hidden under Rafferty's black pea coat as he drove the girl from Woodstock to the Mount Forest area, where she was raped and killed.

McClintic also described how Rafferty cleaned himself after the rape with water from water bottles kept in his car. She also said that on the drive home after the killing, Rafferty directed her to use a blue knife to cut out part of his back seat they couldn't properly clean.

In a police interview, Rafferty denied knowing much about McClintic. But a camera card found in his house showed pictures of McClintic taken on March 26, 2009.

And a piece of paper, titled "Things 4 Carol," listed several household items. McClintic's mother name is Carol.

Also found in Rafferty's house was a receipt for the same kind of hair dye found in McClintic's closet after the killing.

Police found several more water bottles in Rafferty's car, and a receipt from a movie he and McClintic went to see.

They also found a piece of paper with Bell Canada's return policy printed on one side and a phone number on the other. In its opening argument, the Crown suggested Rafferty tried to get rid of his phone after police first interviewed him four days before his arrest.

Where the seat should have been, police found at least six pairs of shoes, clothing and a blue and green GoodLife Fitness bag.

McClintic testified Rafferty brought a green and blue GoodLife Fitness bag filled with clothing on the trip to Mount Forest.

She described putting on a pair of his white basketball shorts with green stripes after the killing. Police found shorts matching that description inside the bag inside his car.

The car had several other unusual features as well.

"The paint job was unusual,"Const. Gary Scoyne testified. The exterior of the once-blue car had been crudely covered with black paint, he said.

The back windows were tinted. The interior of the car -- sides, dashboard and even the plastic covering the instrument panel -- was partly covered in white paint.

Inside the car, police found what appeared to be the parts of sanding disks with white on them.

The trial continues Tuesday.


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