Photo of murder suspect Terrance Black in court after allegedly jumping 25 feet into part of the Grand Canyon, two days after the body of Frisco fitness instructor Susan Loper was found. (credit: CBSDFW.COM)

MCKINNEY (AP) — The jury has started deliberating in the trial of a man accused in the beating death of his ex-girlfriend, a North Texas fitness instructor.

Deliberations began Thursday over the fate of 50-year-old Terrance Black, charged with capital murder in the death last year of 40-year-old Susan Loper of Frisco.

Loper was found beaten to death in a field near Dallas North Tollway in April 2011 after going missing the day before from the Plano country club where she worked. Two days after Loper’s body was found, Black was arrested in Arizona after jumping into the Grand Canyon.

If convicted of capital murder, Black will get an automatic life sentence. Jurors also have the option of convicting him of murder, which carries a sentence of up to 99 years in prison.

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