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Michael Rafferty Trial: Surveillance Video Shows Rafferty-McClintic Embrace Month After Tori Stafford Death

04/25/2012 04:00 EDT | Updated 04/26/2012 09:39 EDT
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LONDON, Ont. - A man whose lawyer has suggested he was nothing more than a horrified witness to the murder of Victoria Stafford at the hands of his girlfriend is seen on video with the woman a month later flexing his muscles for her and drawing her in for a long embrace.

Michael Rafferty visited Terri-Lynne McClintic twice at a detention centre, where she was taken after being arrested days after the killing on an unrelated matter. Police suspected from very early on that McClintic was involved in Tori's abduction on April 8, 2009, and they arrested her April 12 for a breach of probation.

But McClintic's arrest and detention apparently did not deter Rafferty from trying to keep in near-constant communication with her, records show.

Their phones — McClintic used her mother Carol's cellphone — exchanged 44 text messages on April 10. After McClintic's arrest Rafferty kept in contact with Carol McClintic, then he began calling the detention centre.

Over the next month about 30 calls were exchanged between Rafferty's BlackBerry and the Genest Detention Centre, records show.

Rafferty visited McClintic there twice — on May 8 and 12 — and surveillance video with no audio played in court Wednesday shows the two laughing and joking around, with Rafferty prancing around as if modelling his clothes, flexing his biceps for her and at times reaching across the table to stroke her hair or brush it out of her face.

When he arrives and when he leaves, Rafferty and McClintic embrace for intimate, lingering hugs.

Rafferty also showed up for one of McClintic's court appearances on the unrelated matter, court heard.

The last communication between them comes minutes after police left Rafferty's house on May 15, when they interviewed him for the first time in the Tori Stafford investigation. Police had told Rafferty his name came to their attention as one of McClintic's associates — investigators had suspected McClintic was involved almost from the outset — and met with him from 7 to 7:30 p.m. that day.

At 7:41 p.m. Rafferty's phone makes a call to Genest, and after the 14-minute conversation, the two apparently don't speak again, records show.

McClintic, who is already serving a life sentence after pleading guilty two years ago to first-degree murder in Tori's death, testified at Rafferty's trial that he urged her to kidnap a young girl and he then sexually assaulted Tori. McClintic testified that she was the one to kill Tori, however, she had maintained until days before the start of Rafferty's pre-trial that he killed the girl.

Rafferty, 31, has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder, sexual assault causing bodily harm and kidnapping.

During cross-examination of McClintic his lawyer, Dirk Derstine, suggested that she was the "engine" behind the events of April 8, 2009, kidnapping Tori over an unspecified drug debt, offering the child to Rafferty sexually — an offer Derstine suggested Rafferty turned down — then murdering the girl and a "horrified" Rafferty helped her conceal the body.

Ontario Provincial police Det. Const. Gord Johnson presented a calendar Wednesday of Rafferty's activities between April 8 and his arrest on May 19, including more than 100 instant messages and text messages on many days.

On April 8, the day of the abduction, Rafferty apparently spent the early-morning hours exchanging text and instant messages with two of the several women he was dating at the time, records show.

A car suspected to be Rafferty's was seen on surveillance video driving by Tori's school in Woodstock, Ont., at 9:04 a.m., then a flurry of activity followed on his BlackBerry.

A text message was sent to a woman he was seeing, others were sent to a woman from whom court has heard he illegally bought Percocet, and instant messages were exchanged with a woman named Charity Spitzig. Court has heard Rafferty was dating Spitzig and that she would give him the money she made working as an escort.

She deposited $400 into Rafferty's account at 9:47 a.m., records show. About 1 1/2 hours later, Rafferty withdrew $400.

Rafferty and Spitzig exchanged dozens more instant BlackBerry Messenger notes throughout the day, and she later deposited another $100 into his account at 2:58 p.m.

At 10:01 a.m. Rafferty posted on Facebook "everything good is comming (sic) my way."

Between 11:13 a.m. and 12:06 p.m. Rafferty's phone made 14 calls to known associates or drug connections of McClintic, records show. She testified earlier at the trial that Rafferty asked her that morning if she could facilitate the purchase of some drugs for him so she used his phone to call around.

Rafferty spent the noon hour texting other girlfriends, records show. Then between 2:54 and 4:18 p.m. Rafferty made no calls and sent no texts or instant messages.

The car police suspect was Rafferty's was seen driving past Oliver Stephens Public School again at 3:05 p.m., stopping at a nearby gas station at 3:20 p.m., then driving past the school at 3:30 p.m.

Surveillance video shows McClintic leading Tori away from her school at 3:32 p.m. in the direction of a neighbouring retirement home, which is where the Crown alleges Rafferty was waiting in his car.

McClintic has testified that when they were leaving Woodstock that day, Rafferty took the battery out of his phone and put it back in once they arrived in Guelph, where he bought the Percocets.

Rafferty's phone had been accessing the Internet, likely in the background of other phone activity, since the night before and the connection ends at 3:42 p.m., records show. An unanswered call several minutes later goes to his voicemail.

There was some activity on Rafferty's phone between 4:18 and 5:03 p.m., and those signals bounce off of towers in the Guelph, Ont., area. The trial has seen evidence that Rafferty withdrew $80 from an ATM at a gas station next to a Home Depot in Guelph at 5:03 p.m., then McClintic entered the Home Depot minutes later and purchased a hammer and garbage bags using cash.

The next gap in Rafferty's phone use came between 5:05 and 7:46 p.m. According to McClintic's testimony, Tori was raped and killed around that time, as it was beginning to get dark.

At 7:46 p.m. four instant messages that Spitzig sent between 6:35 and 7:11 p.m. were delivered at once to Rafferty's BlackBerry. His voicemail was called one minute later, records show, and the call bounced off a tower near where Tori's remains would be found more than three months later near Mount Forest, Ont.

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