The Ontario Court of Appeal called the judge who handled Michael Rafferty’s murder trial “exemplary” on Thursday.
The court released more detailed reasons for rejecting Rafferty’s appeal of his conviction for murdering 8-year-old Tori Stafford in April of 2009. The appeal was officially dismissed last month, but the judges had promised more specific reasoning.
Rafferty was found guilty of first degree murder, kidnapping and sexual assault causing bodily harm in May of 2012.
Rafferty’s lawyer, Paul Calarco, had argued Justice Thomas Heeney had made several errors during the trial, including failing to warn the jury against relying on the testimony of Terri-Lynne McClintic, the accomplice who pleaded guilty to the crime in 2010.
The Court of Appeal for Ontario found none of those errors were made.
Rafferty is serving a sentence of life in prison. McClintic agreed to the same sentence when she accepted her plea deal.