McClintic pleads guilty
London Community News
By Dianne Wood
Terri Lynne McClintic, the young woman serving a life sentence for the murder of Tori Stafford, pleaded guilty today to assaulting an inmate at the Kitchener prison for women.
McClintic, 22, was originally charged with assault causing bodily harm in the Jan. 30 attack on a woman at the Grand Valley Institute for Women.
But she pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of assault after the victim refused to co-operate, leaving the Crown unable to prove the severity of her injuries.
McClintic sat impassively as Kitchener’s Ontario Court heard about a vicious unprovoked attack on inmate Amy McIntyre in a small interview room at the prison.
McClintic had asked for a peer support meeting, a program offering emotional support to inmates, with McIntyre, who was also serving a life sentence for first-degree murder. McIntyre has since won her appeal for a new trial.
During the meeting, court was told, McClintic got up from her chair and punched McIntyre in the head. She fell to the floor, and McClintic repeatedly kicked her in the body and head, said prosecutor Julia Forward.
McIntyre ended up in a fetal position on the floor. She didn’t fight back.
Several correctional officers witnessed the attack. Even as they pulled McClintic off McIntyre, she kept trying to get at her, court heard.
In a letter McClintic wrote to another inmate afterwards, she said she was disappointed the room hadn’t been larger.
“I don’t even think I did much damage,” she said. “I wish I had got to speak to her in the program room, then I could have really done some damage.
“I got in at least a couple shots, good ones, like one or two decent face shots. Finally I brought my foot up, tried stomping on her face a couple times, threw a couple kicks in.”
McClintic’s lawyer, Geoff Snow, said she originally planned to have a trial on the charge. But after the Crown produced McClintic’s letter in May, McClintic had no choice but to plead guilty because the letter was admissible, he said.
McClintic was angry at McIntyre over something that had gone on in the prison, although details were unclear.
Justice Colin Westman agreed to the Crown’s request to sentence her to six months in jail. It will be served concurrently with her life sentence. Her lawyer wanted time served.
Snow said McClintic was put in segregation for 30 days and had privileges suspended for two months.
The assault is her 10th conviction for offences of violence.
McClintic pleaded guilty in 2010 to first-degree murder in the killing of eight-year-old Tori Stafford outside her Woodstock school in April 2009.
She admitted kicking Tori who was in the fetal position, before Tori was killed with hammer blows to the head.
Michael Rafferty also received a life sentence this year after he was found guilty of first-degree murder, sexual assault causing bodily harm and kidnapping in Stafford’s killing. He is appealing the conviction.
McClintic didn’t say anything in the Kitchener court, except “Yes” to confirm her plea for the judge. Her lawyer entered her guilty plea for her.
The judge called her situation “tragic.’’ He said it was obvious she has deep-seated “anger toward her fellow human beings.’’
“Imagine the turmoil you must feel within yourself to allow yourself to participate in this event,” Westman said.
He said he hoped she could find “some kind of peace with life.”
Her lawyer said outside court that she is taking programs to deal with her anger. She’s in the maximum security unit at the prison.