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Rafferty won't be testifying at his murder trial: defence

Michael Rafferty, accused in the murder of eight-year-old Victoria (Tori) Stafford, will not take the stand as his defence lawyer opened and closed his case Tuesday with one brief witness.

The Crown wrapped up its case against Michael Rafferty last week, and on Tuesday the defence called one female witness who was one of the last people to see Tori alive.

The woman, whose name is protected under a publication ban, picked her grandchildren up from school in Woodstock, Ont., on April 8, 2009, the day Tori was abducted.

She said she saw a woman matching Terri-Lynne McClintic’s description go into the school, then later she saw her walking away with Tori, as seen on surveillance video.

See full coverage of Rafferty’s trial here.

McClintic, who has admitted abducting Tori and has pleaded guilty to first-degree murder, testified at Rafferty’s trial last month that Rafferty urged her to kidnap a young girl, and that she chose Tori because she spotted her outside the school all alone.

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

The witness testified Tuesday that she believed the woman in a white coat who went into the school was the same woman she saw walking with Tori, and that she was walking quickly with a “stern” look on her face.

“[She] seemed like she was on a mission,” the woman testified. “The little girl that was with her was happy, skipping, talking a mile a minute…I assumed the person that she was talking to might have been her mother.”

Crown attorney Michael Carnegie questioned the woman’s memory of the events of that day at length under cross-examination, specifically her recollection of the woman going into the school versus the woman walking with Tori.

Carnegie noted that when she saw the woman and the girl walking along the road outside the school it was a “fleeting glance” as she drove past.