sentenced to life
Nearby were the butterfly earrings.
With those simple but harsh connections exposed, Terri Lynne McClintic, 20, pleaded guilty to first degree murder and was sentenced to life in prison in the death of eight year old Victoria (Tori) Stafford.
But in a long, emotional day in court April 30 unable to be reported on until now McClintic offered no real explanation for why she lured the bright eyed girl to her death with the promise of seeing a puppy.
“I didn’t wake up that morning thinking I was going to take a child,” McClintic, at times sobbing, at times her words barely understandable, told court.
“Every day I think tha air max 1 t maybe if I hadn’t walked down the street that day, that precious little angel would still be here. Every day I ask myself why. Why did I tell myself that everything would be okay? Just why? I can’t honestly explain my thought process on that day.”
She offered an apology to Tori’s family, watching in a stony silence.
“A million tears will never be enough and a million words would never be able to express how truly sorry I am.”
Her words brought little comfort.
“It was garbage, you can print that,” Tori’s mother, Tara McDonald, said in an interview later. “I don’t want to hear your apologies. There are not enough apologies in this. If you apologize every day until the day you die it is never going to be enough. Never.”
A Supreme Court of Canada decision Dec. 9 allows the media to report a limited amount of information released in Woodstock court April 30, including:
The fact that McClintic pleaded guilty to first degree mu air max 1 rder, was convicted and given the mandatory life sentence.
Victim impact statements from Tori Stafford’s family.
An edited version of McClintic’s statement to court.
An edited version of an agreed statement of facts that describes what happened April 8, 2009, the day Tori Stafford went missing.
An account of McClintic’s dealings with police and the search for Tori’s body.
The reasons for the partial publication ban imposed on the April 30 hearing.
The drama of that day in court can also, finally, be reported.
Told a few days earlier that McClintic was going to plead guilty, the family and friends of Tori filed quietly into the third floor courtroom of the historic Woodstock courthouse and filled several rows on one side.
McClintic’s mother, Carol, sat in the middle of the courtroom several metres away.
On the other side of the courtroom sat dozens of reporters aware this was going to be no ordinary hearing.
There was silence as McClintic was brought into court, wearing a tailored black suit and a cream shirt, her hai air max 1 r pulled back.
She was neither handcuffed nor shackled.
At times sitting, at times standing in a prisoner’s box with Plexiglas walls, McClintic herself cried frequently. After several family members read statements about the impact of Tori’s death, McClintic threw up in a waste paper basket.
She began her day in court replying softly to questions from Justice air max 1 Dougald McDermid.
You are charged with first degree murder. What is your plea? McDermid asked.
“Guilty,” McClintic replied in a soft monotone.
A charge of kidnapping was dropped.
Several times, McDermid questioned McClintic about her motive for pleading, making sure she understood she was heading for life in prison.