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Co-accused In Stafford Slaying To Plead Not Guilty, Opts For Preliminary Hearing

The lawyer for the man charged with first-degree murder and kidnapping in Tori Stafford’s slaying says her client will plead not guilty when the case goes to trial.

Attorney Laura Giordano says Michael Rafferty has elected to have a preliminary hearing, which is tentatively scheduled to run from June 21 through July 13.

Rafferty is of two people charged in Stafford’s death.

His co-accused, Terri-Lynne McClintic, earlier this week waived her right to a preliminary hearing and chose instead to go straight to trial.

Stafford, eight, was abducted April 8 as she left school and her remains were found about five months later area north of Guelph.

McClintic and Rafferty were arrested and charged in May.

Rafferty appeared in court via video from Chatham, Ont. Giordano says he was transferred there from a London, Ont., detention centre after being threatened by inmates.

She said a hearing will be held Feb. 17 to confirm the dates for a preliminary hearing.

“We will come back and confirm our readiness for preliminary hearing dates (and) ensuring that all counsel are fit to proceed,” Giordano said outside court.

“His story will come out at trial and I would ask everybody to reserve judgement and simply to be patient and let the story unfold as it will.”