WEST JORDAN — The man accused of raping and killing a 6-year-old girl from his West Jordan neighborhood was back in court Tuesday.
Terry Lee Black, 41, appeared in 3rd District Court on all of his recent charges, including aggravated murder, child kidnapping and rape, all first-degree felonies, stemming from the death of Sierra Newbold, and the second-degree felony charges of robbery and receiving or transferring a stolen vehicle that led to his arrest.
Black, was only in court briefly — long enough for another date to be set for Oct. 9.
"We're going to ask for a preliminary hearing to follow very soon," deputy Salt Lake County attorney Robert Stott said.
The "horrible nature" of the crime creates urgency to move the process along, Stott said, but it must be handled deliberately due to what is at stake. If convicted, Black could face the death penalty.
Prosecutors have 60 days from Black's arraignment to indicate whether they officially intend to seek the death penalty. The arraignment will take place either after a preliminary hearing on the evidence or after the man waived his right to that hearing.
"We have several months before we have to give notice if we desire to seek the death penalty," Stott said. "We'll take that time to make the appropriate decision."
Black is accused of entering the young girl's West Jordan home before dawn on June 26, abducting her and eventually drowning her in a nearby canal following a sexual assault. Black was arrested following a bank robbery three days later, also in West Jordan.
According to charging documents, Black was wearing the same clothes he had been wearing three days earlier when he kidnapped Sierra from her home and took her to a burned-out field. Later, forensics tests were conducted and prosecutors say Black's DNA matched DNA found on Sierra's body.