COLLIN COUNTY (CBSDFW.COM) – While the official operating hours were over and the courthouse had closed, jurors stayed inside the Collin County Courthouse deliberating the fate of Terrance Black.
For more than four hours the group debated the guilt or innocence of the man accused of murdering a Plano fitness instructor.
Ultimately Black was found guilty of Capital Murder. Since the state did not seek the death penalty, Black has an automatic life sentence.
Each hour that passed only increased the tension among family and friends of the victim and defendant, both waiting at the courthouse.
During closing arguments, prosecutors called it an easy case. They said Black had no alibi and a motive for killing his ex-girlfriend Susan Loper.
“He doesn’t think right. He has a twisted mind,” prosecutor John Schomburger said of the defendant. “There’s no doubt about it. Its him.”
The 50-year-old was found guilty of beating and shooting Loper to death.
Black purchased a gun months before the crime — a weapon that is now missing.
The now convicted murderer disappeared for days after Loper’s murder. Authorities at the Grand Canyon finally found him, with suicide notes in his car.
But many believe it was the evidence of stalking and obsession that was most damaging. Black allegedly wrote in his calendar on the day of the murder, “Can’t let a bastard have my hard work. Decision day to smoke her.”
Defense attorneys tried to argue that the physical evidence was weak, despite a bloody crime scene at the Plano country club where Loper was kidnapped from and the Frisco field where her body was found.
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