SALT LAKE CITY, UT – Terry Lee Black, the 41-year-old man accused of kidnapping, raping and murdering 6-year-old Sierra Newbold, made his first court appearance today.
For those of you who missed the story, Sierra was reported missing by her mother on the morning of June 26 after she woke up to find that her daughter was not in the house. Thirty minutes later, the little girl was found dead, floating face down in a nearby canal.
Autopsy reports would show that Sierra died from drowning, but that she had also been raped, strangled and beaten.
A video camera mounted on Newbold’s home captured a man entering through a sliding glass door at around 3:00 a.m. and leave moments later carrying something. Police would also find Sierra’s pink pajama bottoms and underwear in a burnt out field a short distance from Sierra’s home.
Three days later, Black was arrested shortly after robbing a Wells Fargo bank in West Jordan. He got caught after leaving the bank and returning to a Jeep he had stolen earlier. A friend of the car’s owner just happened to be in the parking lot, saw their friend’s vehicle, and confronted Black. He fled on foot but was quickly captured by police.
Alert investigators noted that Black lived in an apartment near the canal Sierra was found in, as well as his physical appearance.
“His hands and knees were blackened by what we believe was the charcoal on the field,” West Jordan Police Chief Douglas Diamond said. “The debris left on the field.”
A DNA test was administered and determined that Sierra’s DNA was on Black’s body. He was charged with aggravated murder, kidnapping and rape of a child. Prosecutors say they may seek the death penalty. Black was not known to Sierra or her family, but lived nearby and attended the same Mormon church.
When Black made his brief appearance in court this morning to answer to the charges, he was surrounded by extra bailiffs to keep him away from other inmates. He made short or barely audible answers when questioned by the judge and was scheduled to be back in court on July 31.
It’s kind of heartbreaking when you think of a little girl like Sierra going to bed that night feeling safe and thinking only of the things any 6-year-old thinks about, only to wake up in the middle of the night in a burned field, with Black raping and beating her before being drowned in a canal. She must have been absolutely terrified.
I know in an earlier article I expressed my desire for juvenile rehabilitation for young offenders over incarceration, and I have admitted my once pro-death penalty stance has wavered over the years, but when it comes to people like Black I remain firm in my beliefs. Once there is no doubt a person has raped and murdered a child, just kill the motherfucker where they stand.Tags: Abduction, Drowning, Kidnapping, Rape, Sierra Newbold, Terry Le Black, Utah