Charge in Stafford case upgraded

Woman charged with abducting Tori Stafford is now accused of killing her

An 18-year-old woman arrested in connection with the disappearance of eight-year-old Tori Stafford is now facing a charge of first-degree murder. Police originally accused Terri-Lynne McClintic of abduction and accessory to murder after the fact, while her boyfriend, 28-year-old Michael Rafferty, was charged with abduction and first-degree murder. But during a brief court appearance this morning, the allegations against McClintic were upgraded to match those of her fellow suspect. Authorities did not explain the change, but the timing is certainly compelling. Since her arrest, McClintic has tried to help police locate Tori’s remains, but after nine days of searching, her body is still missing. In a separate development today, authorities revealed that McClintic and Rafferty will be tried separately, and by two different Crown attorneys. Hal Mattson, Rafferty’s lawyer, says he wouldn’t be surprised if the Crown is already working out a plea bargain deal with McClintic, but her lawyer declined to speculate. “Assumptions are very dangerous,” said Jeanine LeRoy. “Those decisions have not yet been made and won’t be made until we have the entirety of the disclosure.”

The London Free Press