Rafferty was 'stressed out' after Tori's disappearance
LONDON, Ont. - The man accused of killing eight-year-old Victoria Stafford looked "haggard" and seemed stressed out in the days after her death, court heard Tuesday.
Michael Rafferty visited ex-girlfriend Barbara Armstrong, 44, who kept him illegally supplied with Percocet pills, a few days after Tori's disappearance on April 8, 2009, and he didn't seem like himself, she testified.
"He said that he hadn't been eating, he hadn't been sleeping, he was so stressed out, so many things going on in his life," Armstrong testified.
"He was looking kind of haggard. He had a cold sore -- he gets cold sores when he gets super stressed."
Rafferty, 31, told her that a friend of a friend's daughter had gone missing, and he was going to help search for her, Armstrong said. Court has heard that another girl named Amanda, who Rafferty was seeing around the time of Tori's death, knew the girl's family.
Rafferty has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder, sexual assault causing bodily harm and kidnapping.
The Crown alleges that he and his girlfriend at the time, Terri-Lynne McClintic, abducted Tori outside her elementary school on April 8 and drove her to a rural area more than 100 kilometres north, where she was raped and killed with a hammer.
But between the abduction in Woodstock, Ont., and the killing near Mount Forest, Ont., Rafferty and McClintic made several stops, it's alleged, including at Armstrong's house in Guelph, Ont.
When Armstrong returned home from work that day at about 4:30 p.m., Rafferty was waiting in his car with a young, brown-haired woman in the passenger's seat, she said. The Crown alleges that Tori was also in the car, but was forced to lie on the floor of the back seat with Rafferty's coat covering her.
Armstrong testified that Rafferty went inside, bought a clear baggie full of Percocets -- as he did a couple of times a month -- chatted for about 10 minutes, then left. Percocet is an addictive painkiller, containing the same opioid as OxyContin.
The two had met about six years ago, when they were both working for a meatpacking plant in Guelph. She was in packaging, and he worked a couple of different jobs, including meat cutting, before he was laid off, Armstrong said. They dated for about two months then remained friends, she said.
"I could pretty much tell him anything," Armstrong said. "It was like girl talk."
Armstrong saw Rafferty about a dozen times between April 8 and his arrest on May 19, she said. During one visit, they discussed surveillance video that showed a woman in a white puffy coat walking away from the school with Tori.
Rafferty told Armstrong that he thought he recognized the woman and the car, and that police were trying to get her to confess to Tori's kidnapping, Armstrong said.
"He said that they were waking her up in the middle of the night and they were screaming and yelling at her and spitting in her face."
Court has heard that police received tips that McClintic was the woman on the video and arrested her April 12 on an unrelated warrant. She eventually confessed on May 19, leading to Rafferty's arrest. McClintic told police that she had abducted Tori at Rafferty's urging, then he sexually assaulted and killed the girl.
In court, however, McClintic has testified that it was really she who killed Tori with a hammer.
Court also heard Tuesday from Ontario Provincial Police Sgt. Dave Vittie, who showed the jury surveillance video and other evidence detailing Rafferty and McClintic's movements around the Guelph area that day.
A Honda believed to be Rafferty's car is seen pulling into a Home Depot parking lot at about 5 p.m., and a man in a white shirt -- believed to be Rafferty -- is seen crossing a small lawn and entering a Petro Canada gas bar. Surveillance footage shows Rafferty walk toward an ATM. Records show he tried to withdraw $100 but was denied, then successfully withdrew $80.
He returns to the car, it drives closer to the Home Depot entrance, and a woman identified as McClintic gets out of the passenger side, puts on a white coat then hurries into the store. Interior Home Depot surveillance footage shows her wandering the store then using cash to buy garbage bags and a hammer at the self-checkout.
Vittie agreed under cross-examination by defence lawyer Dirk Derstine that McClintic didn't look upset and was walking at a decisive pace.
The trial continues Wednesday.