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Tori Stafford accused contacted McClintic in detention

04/25/2012 12:19 EDT | Updated 06/25/2012 05:12 EDT

Michael Rafferty apparently kept in communication with Terri-Lynne McClintic after she was arrested on an unrelated matter several days after Victoria (Tori) Stafford disappeared, jurors at his murder trial heard.

Phone records show his BlackBerry was involved in 25 calls to and from the Genest Centre for Youth where McClintic was being held over a one-month period beginning on April 19, 2009, Ontario Provincial Police Det. Const. Gordon Johnson testified Wednesday.

Rafferty, who has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder, sexual assault causing bodily harm and kidnapping, also visited her at the facility in London, Ont.

Natalie Lebovic, a staff member at Genest, testified Rafferty was present for one of McClintic's court appearances.

Tori disappeared outside her elementary school in Woodstock, Ont., on April 8, 2009. Her remains were found 100 kilometres north of the city in Mount Forest three months later.

McClintic, who pleaded guilty to the first-degree murder of Tori two years ago, was taken into custody on April 12, 2009, and implicated herself and Rafferty in the girl's death one month later.

She testifed earlier in Rafferty's trial that she killed the girl by hitting her in the head with a hammer, contradicting previous statements in which she said he was the one who delivered the fatal blows.

The defence has suggested McClintic was the "engine" behind the abduction and Rafferty was merely a horrified spectator.

The Crown alleges Tori was lured to Rafferty's car by McClintic, who is currently serving a life sentence, on his orders. The pair then drove the girl first to Guelph and later to Mount Forest, where she was allegedly raped and killed.

Crown expects to wrap case soon

Johnson detailed other activity on Rafferty's phone in the spring of 2009.

Just two days after Tori went missing, Rafferty's BlackBerry exchanged 44 text messages with a phone belonging to the mother of McClintic.

McClintic, jurors were told last month, used her mom's phone because she did not own one. She was one of a number of women Rafferty was seeing.

The two phones kept in communication following Tori's disappearance, even after McClintic's arrest. She previously testified that she told detention staff Rafferty was taking care of her ailing mother.

Det. Const. Gordon Johnson also presented a chart of voice calls and text messages from Rafferty's BlackBerry, all made on April 8, 2009. Johnson, court was previously told, interviewed Rafferty on May 15, 2009, when he first came to the attention of police.

Last week, jurors heard testimony from experts at Bell Canada that showed Rafferty's BlackBerry had been used in Woodstock, Guelph and near Mount Forest the day Tori disappeared.

Johnson also provided usage data from Rafferty's phone over the course of a 41-day period beginning April 8, 2009. It showed he sent an average of 142 calls and messages each day.

A number of former girlfriends have testified that Rafferty was constantly on his BlackBerry while they were together.

Det. Const. Johnson presented a timeline of events from the day Tori disappeared, showing that there were two periods when Rafferty's phone was inactive, the first between 2:54 p.m. and 4:18 p.m. and the second between 5:05 p.m. and 7:46 p.m.

The Crown contends the time frames match up with Tori's initial abduction and alleged rape and murder.

Under cross-examination, however, Johnson said it was common for Rafferty's phone to show gaps in activity.

The Crown is expected to wrap up its case against Rafferty in the next few days. The defence will then be allowed to present its evidence.

Rafferty's trial, which began on March 5, resumed Wednesday following a day of legal arguments.

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