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Tori Stafford Trial

Rafferty, McClintic 'in this together': Crown

Hank Daniszewski & Randy Richmond, QMI Agency

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LONDON, ONT. - 

Michael Rafferty and Terri-Lynne McClintic worked as a team to kidnap and murder Tori Stafford, Crown attorney Kevin Gowdey said Tuesday.

“Together they did this to Tori Stafford. Together they are guilty,” Gowdey said in his final argument to the jury at Rafferty’s first-degree murder trial.

Gowdey deflected much of the defence argument that put the blame for Tori’s death on McClintic by conceding that McClintic was a “violent pawn” who lied in some portions of her testimony.

But he said there was also substantial evidence indicating she told the truth about key events in the abduction and murder of the Woodstock schoolgirl.

Rafferty and McClintic collaborated, Gowdey said.

“Even if Terri-Lynne McClintic was the one with the hammer, it doesn’t matter,” he said.

Rafferty, 31, has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder, kidnapping and sexual assault causing bodily harm in the disappearance of the eight-year-old Woodstock girl who vanished April 8, 2009, on her way home from school.

McClintic, 21, pleaded guilty to first-degree murder and was sentenced to life in prison in April 2010.

With a combination of visual aids, drama and a methodical laying out of facts, Gowdey began the Crown’s closing arguments Tuesday in Rafferty’s first-degree murder trial.

The argument: Rafferty was no “innocent dupe” and McClintic was not, as the defence suggests, “the engine” behind the kidnapping, sexual assault and killing of the eight-year-old school girl.

Instead, Rafferty used McClintic to get him a girl, buy the murder weapons with cash he gave her, keep the girl hidden when he had to leave the car, and help clean up and cover up the murder.

“He was leading the events of April 8 from start to finish and he completely controlled what happened after April 8,” Gowdey said.

He reminded jurors they only have to find one of three things true to convict Rafferty of first-degree murder; that the kidnapping or rape of Tori resulted in her death, or that the killing was pre-planned.

He quickly dismissed one of the defence’s main arguments, that McClintic is such a violent liar her story can’t be trusted.

“There is no question from time to time you are going to find she lied in her evidence,” he said.

Even so, the defence never attacked “her evidence in any significant way,” Gowdey said.

Rafferty at times rolled his eyes, scowled or muttered to himself during Gowdey’s closing.

Gowdey reviewed police interviews with Rafferty in which he said he didn’t know McClintic.

“The lies just rolled off his tongue. . . He wanted to throw police off the trail,” Gowdey said.

Gowdey is expected to wrap up his final arguments on Wednesday.

Justice Thomas Heeney will likely read the charge to the jury on Thursday and the jury will then begin its deliberations.