Accused Utah Child Rapist, Murderer Found Incompetent To Stand Trial

Murderer Found Incompetent To Stand Trial
Terry Lee Black, pictured here at an earlier court appearance, on Tuesday was found incompetent to stand trial in the death of Sierra Newbold, 6, who in 2012 was kidnapped from her home, raped and murdered. Photo: Associated Press

WEST JORDAN, Utah – Dec. 1, 2015 (Gephardt Daily) — Terry Lee Black, accused child kidnapper, rapist and murderer, on Tuesday was found incompetent to stand trial.

After a hearing that lasted just a few minutes, Black, in a muted yellow jail uniform, his hands cuffed behind his back, was led out of the courtroom.

The family of Sierra Newbold, who was six in 2012 when she was kidnapped, raped and murdered, stood up slowly, spoke to each other in hushed voices, then left the courtroom walking close together, heads hung in near silence.

“They believe the right person has been charged, and they want to get it over with,” said attorney Robert Stott, from District Attorney’s office, after conferring in private with Newbold’s family members.

“Why is the law taking such a long time? Nothing has happened, in 2-and-a-half years, to their satisfaction, and all of a sudden they find out the state cannot proceed,” Stott said. “So yes, they are very frustrated.”

Black, 44, is charged in the death of Newbold, who on June 26, 2012 was kidnapped from her West Jordan home in the middle of the night. Surveillance footage showed a man carrying something as he left the home through a sliding door. The child’s body was found later that day, and an autopsy showed she had been raped, strangled, then thrown into a canal, where she drowned.

Black, who lived near the canal and was in the same congregation of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as Newbold’s family, was arrested after a police investigation.

Stott said the psychiatric report given to Third District Court Judge L. Douglas Hogan before the hearing indicated that Black has borderline intellectual functioning, learning disorders, cognitive disorders and a psychotic disorder. The psychotic disorder has worsened since the last time Black was tested, Stott said.

Black will be transferred to a state medical facility in Provo, Stott said.

“The people were told by the judge to try and restore his (Black’s) competency,” Stott said, adding that Black’s mental competency will next be assessed a year after his arrival and the Provo facility.

Stott said people often misunderstand the definition of competency. A person can be functional in everyday life, but will be found incompetent to stand trial if he or she is mentally or intellectually unable to cooperate with defense attorneys.


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