Rafferty faces 2012 trial in Stafford death

The trial for Michael Rafferty, the man accused of murdering eight-year-old Tori Stafford, will begin early in 2012.
Michael Rafferty, who appeared in court for a pre-trial hearing, leaves the courthouse in Woodstock, Ont., on Feb. 7. (Dave Chidle/Canadian Press)

The trial for the man accused of murdering eight-year-old Tori Stafford will begin early in 2012.

Pretrial motions have been set for Jan. 16 in London, Ont.

Dirk Derstine, the lawyer representing Michael Rafferty, said jury selection will begin immediately following the pretrial motions.

Rafferty is charged with first-degree murder in the 2009 death of the Woodstock, Ont., girl.

His trial was moved from Woodstock to London due to concerns that he would not get a fair trial in the town of 30,000.

Rafferty was not in court for Wednesday's proceedings.

The girl who was called Tori by family and friends was abducted as she left her school on April 8, 2009.

Terri-Lynne McClintic and Rafferty, 30, were charged more than one month later and Tori's remains were found in a field more than 100 kilometres north of Woodstock.

Last April, McClintic, 20, pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in Stafford's death.