Michael Rafferty is shown in this undated photo taken from Facebook.
Credits: FACEBOOK PHOTO
LONDON, ON - Michael Rafferty is "not guilty and it hurts like hell. It hurts," his mother told reporters outside London court Monday.
The small woman walking with a cane said she would provide more comment later today.
"I think he's got a good lawyer," she said when asked what she thought of Dirk Derstine's closing argument, which began Monday morning.
In court, Derstine called Terri-Lynne McClintic, Rafferty's former girlfriend and the Crown's star witness, a "prolific and accomplished liar."
During his closing arguments, he urged jurors not to leap to judgment or to try to solve "a murder mystery" but to focus, instead, on the credibility of the testimony McClintic.
Rafferty, 31, has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder, kidnapping and sexual assault in the 2009 killing of eight-year-old Victoria (Tori) Stafford.
Tori's body was found under a rock pile near Mount Forest, ON, on July 19, 2009, 103 days after she was abducted outside her school.
McClintic, 21, has already pleaded guilty to first-degree murder for the killing and is serving a life sentence.
Her cheerful statements to police that she wanted to find Tori were a "fantastic performance," by a woman who came up with "well-thought out lies" like an "Oscar-winning actor," Derstine said.
McClintic constantly changed her story to escape responsibility and acted like "the girl next door" - eager to help when she was interviewed by police, he said.
She admitted that she was unable to sort out truth from lies even in her own mind and she lied about killing Tori for two years, blaming Rafferty before changing her story, he said.
But Derstine said jurors should have "no doubt" McClintic was telling the truth when she testified that she killed Tori with a hammer.
Meanwhile Rafferty did not behave like a person who was carrying out a kidnapping on April 8, 2009 - the day Tori Stafford went missing - leaving McClintic and Tori alone in his car while he stopped for coffee and bought painkillers at a friend's house in Guelph, Derstine said.
Tori's disappearance drew national attention. Even veteran police officers lost their composure on the stand during the trial.
Tori's teacher, Jennifer Griffin-Murrell, prompted tears throughout the courtroom as she described saying goodbye for the last time to the cheery, charming little girl.
The Crown opened its case March 5 and finished April 27, calling 61 witnesses and filing 185 exhibits.