McClintic offered to 'take the fall' for Tori's death

WARNING: DISTURBING DETAILS Terri-Lynne McClintic testifies she told Michael Thomas Rafferty she was willing to "take the fall" for the killing of Victoria (Tori) Stafford, because he had more to lose than she did.

WARNING: This story contains disturbing details

Terri-Lynne McClintic will spend a second day testifying at the first-degree murder trial of former boyfriend Michael Rafferty. (Canadian Press)

Terri-Lynne McClintic says she told Michael Thomas Rafferty she was willing to "take the fall" for the killing of Victoria (Tori) Stafford, because he had more to lose than she did.

McClintic testified in a London, Ont., court for the second day Wednesday, telling jurors she and Rafferty maintained contact after she was arrested in the aftermath of Tori's disappearance.

Rafferty, 31, has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder, sexual assault causing bodily harm and abduction. McClintic is serving a life sentence for Tori’s death after pleading guilty almost two years ago to first-degree murder.

In April 2009, just days after Tori vanished, McClintic was arrested on an outstanding warrant unrelated to the abduction.

But the court previously heard that her mother told police she believed McClintic was the woman seen walking with her daughter the day the eight-year-old disappeared.

McClintic listed Rafferty as boyfriend

When she was asked about Tori's disappearance, McClintic told police she didn’t know anything about it.

But she was kept in custody and listed Rafferty as her boyfriend on her contact form so that they could stay in touch.

Rafferty visited her at the jail and they called each other frequently. They once talked about McClintic running away from the prison, so they could be like "the next Bonnie and Clyde," McClintic told the court, as Rafferty shook his head in the prisoner's box.

McClintic said she told him she would "take the fall for everything, that I would say it is all me, that he had more to lose than I did" because she was "just an 18-year-old junkie anyways."

Jurors also saw three pages from McClintic's journal that contained a series of questions she might be asked by police, along with answers she could provide.

The questions and answers were based on a "scenario" Rafferty laid out in which McClintic was to say she met Tori on the street in Woodstock by chance, but the interaction did not last longer than five minutes.

The scenario also involved a drive to Guelph, Ont., the city that McClintic said she and Rafferty drove to while Tori was alive and in their car.

Helping search for Tori was 'right thing to do'

On May 19, 2009, McClintic spoke to police and was charged with abduction, which was later upgraded to accessory to murder and eventually first-degree murder.

McClintic said she ultimately decided to help police search for Tori's body because it was "the right thing to do."

Victoria (Tori) Stafford disappeared on her way home from school in Woodstock, Ont., on April 8, 2009. (Canadian Press)

She said police asked her to sign a release to obtain her phone records and DNA and to go with police to find the area where Tori's body was hidden.

McClintic also said she wrote an apology letter to Tori's mother.

McClintic revealed Wednesday that before her arrest, she helped a neighbour distribute flyers about the missing child. Members of Tori's family shook their heads after hearing that detail from McClintic.

Rafferty said girl 'wasn't young enough'

McClintic previously told the court that she lured Tori to a waiting car driven by Rafferty on the afternoon of April 8, 2009, the last day the Grade 3 student was seen alive in Woodstock.

When she got Tori in the car, Rafferty told McClintic the girl "wasn't young enough," McClintic testified when asked followup questions to her testimony.

While they were on the highway, heading to Guelph, Tori asked if she could return home.

"She just kept asking where we were going, what was happening," McClintic said. "She asked if she could go home. She said she wouldn’t tell anybody.

"She said she’d just tell her mom she went to her cousin’s house to play."

They then travelled along Highway 401 to Guelph, where McClintic purchased a hammer and garbage bags at a Home Depot, and eventually drove north to a rural area near Mount Forest, where McClintic says Tori was sexually assaulted and killed.

Tori's body was left under a pile of rocks, where it would not be found for several months.

McClintic said she and Rafferty put a number of items into a garbage bag, including the slain schoolgirl's clothes and backpack, the hammer, some water bottles and Rafferty's shirt.


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When they were driving away, Rafferty said they should never talk about the killing again, McClintic told the court.

They drove down a side road and McClintic threw her shoes out of the window. Rafferty gave her a new pair.

Garbage bags tossed out at car wash

McClintic said she and Rafferty headed to a car wash in Cambridge, Ont., where they threw the garbage bags containing evidence in a dumpster and trash can on site. They also cleaned both the inside and outside of the car, she said. They were there for at least half an hour.

Rafferty went to a nearby store and changed in the bathroom, she said.

Michael Rafferty is charged with first-degree murder, sexual assault causing bodily harm and abduction. (Dave Chidley/Canadian Press)

McClintic followed and put on clothes left for her by Rafferty. They then left Cambridge around 7 or 8 p.m. and threw away their old clothes while they were on Highway 401.

As they approached Woodstock, Rafferty told her to cut out two spots on the backseat that weren't clean, McClintic said. She cut away part of the seat with a knife and removed handfuls of foam, which were thrown out of the car as they drove.

Rafferty dropped her off at a convenience store and McClintic walked home, she said.

She told the court that she took several drugs the day Tori disappeared, including marijuana, OxyContin and a "handful" of Percocets.

She said Wednesday that she had met Tori's mother, Tara McDonald, and her partner, James Goris, but never her daughter until the day the girl was abducted.

With files from The Canadian Press and the CBC's Philip Lee-Shanok, Melanie Nagy and Steven D'Souza