08/02/2012 06:28 EDT | Updated 10/02/2012 05:12 EDT

Michael Rafferty Appeal: Victoria Stafford Killer Accuses Judge Of Failing To Instruct Jury Properly


Michael Rafferty, the Toronto man found guilty of raping and killing an eight-year-old girl, is appealing his murder conviction, according to various reports.

Global News confirms the appeal was filed at the Court of Appeal for Ontario on July 26, stating "the jury failed to apprehend the evidentiary requirement to convict for first-degree murder."

In other words, the trial judge is accused of failing to properly instruct the jury.

During the trial, presiding judge Thomas Heeney took some heat for excluding character evidence from the jury, according to The Toronto Star.

That evidence included data from Rafferty's laptop, which reportedly included hild pornography, torture videos and a movie about the abduction of a little girl.

The Star also reports the jury did not hear that Rafferty liked choking women during sex.

Rafferty had asked for an extension to the 30-day appeal deadline he missed last June, claiming he was unable to contact his lawyer.

The 31-year-old is serving a life sentence on three charges stemming from the 2009 death of Victoria Stafford: first-degree murder, sexual assault causing bodily harm and kidnapping

He won't be eligible for parole for 25 years, while his accomplice, Terri-Lynne McClintic, is also serving a life sentence.

If there is a new trial, Rafferty has requested that it be by jury, Global reports.

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