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Lawyer For Accused In Tori Stafford Death Says Client Will Plead Not Guilty

The lawyer for one of the two people charged in the death of eight-year-old Tori Stafford says his client will plead not guilty.

Michael Rafferty made a court appearance in Woodstock, Ont., Friday via video from a London, Ont., detention centre. His lawyer, Dirk Derstine, said his client “will certainly be pleading not guilty” and will return to court September 25th.

Rafferty, who’s 28, and 19-year-old Terri-Lynne McClintic, are each charged with first-degree murder and kidnapping. Tori disappeared in April and her remains were found July 19 north of Guelph, Ont.

Derstine said there’s an enormous amount of evidence, including more than 2,000 civilian statements, to go through before the case proceeds.

He said he expects to see a preliminary inquiry next year, but adds that a trial might not begin until 2011.