The person who pleaded responsible final 12 months to murdering Sherry Black in 2010 was sentenced to life in jail Wednesday with out the potential of parole.
Sporting an orange jumpsuit and black face masks, Adam Antonio Durborow, 30, sat along with his shoulders slumped as seven of Black’s members of the family pushed by means of tears of their Wednesday testimony, describing Black and the way her loss of life affected them.
Collectively, they requested third District Choose Randall Skanchy to sentence Durborow — who was 19 when he killed Black — to life in jail with out the potential of parole.
“She helped anybody she may, any approach she may,” Courtney Hawks, Black’s first grandchild, mentioned in the course of the listening to. “There’s the true irony of all of this: She would have been an advocate for this perpetrator if solely he’d chosen a distinct path. As a substitute, he preyed upon her; he brutally took out all his anger and frustration and rage on her like she was nothing — and he or she was not nothing.”
Skanchy described his sentencing determination as “simple” given the spontaneous, “egregious nature” of the crime.
A brutal discovery — and no leads
Black’s husband, Earl, discovered her physique on Nov. 30, 2010, of their house and bookstore in South Salt Lake, generally known as B&W Billiards & Books. She was partially bare, with lacerations on her head and neck. A pair of scissors was lodged in her chest. Police discovered indicators that she had been sexually assaulted.
The high-profile killing of Black — the mother-in-law of former Utah Jazz CEO Greg Miller — rattled the group. The Jazz noticed a second of silence earlier than their sport the day after she was killed.
Days and weeks, then months and years handed with out a lead within the case. The household gathered recurrently to ask the general public for assist, providing 1000’s in reward cash.
The primary break got here in 2016, when DNA proof recognized the genetic historical past of the assailant. Durborow was arrested 4 years later in 2020 and in October pleaded responsible to aggravated homicide.
Regulation enforcement haven’t launched a motive for the crime, and investigators have mentioned they discovered no indicators Durborow compelled his approach contained in the bookstore. Nothing appeared stolen.
Protection legal professional Heidi Buchi mentioned Wednesday that Durborow was “very indignant” that day, noting that he had endured issues “no little one ought to undergo.”
However, she added, ”That isn’t an excuse. He doesn’t have an excuse. He’s not providing an excuse. He is aware of what he did was improper.”
“That’s why he cooperated and pled responsible as charged,” she continued. Within the years since he killed Black, his regret had solely elevated, Buchi mentioned.
She requested the choose to impose a sentence of 25 years to life in jail, which might have included the potential of parole.
‘My life won’t ever be the identical’
Relations informed Skanchy on Wednesday that Sherry Black’s killing left a gap of their household. Grandchildren misplaced not solely their grandmother, but in addition their mom and grandfather, who had been consumed by grief after Black’s loss of life.
When Earl Black discovered his spouse that day, it broke him, they mentioned. He by no means slept within the couple’s house once more, the place they’d lived for greater than 40 years. He stopped attending household occasions, ones that he and his spouse had by no means missed earlier than.
Rising up, Hawks recalled how she would raid her grandmother’s raspberry bush. How the older girl, simply 38 when Hawks was born, taught her the way to floss her enamel, placed on lipstick and overcome highschool bullying. Later, Black helped Hawks navigate beginning and caring for a household of her personal.
Hawks typically referred to as her grandmother to ask for recommendation, or to simply say, “Howdy.” She did it a lot she memorized her quantity, and to today, can nonetheless recite these seven digits — which she did Wednesday, out loud, standing in a courtroom in entrance of her killer.
Household mentioned they wouldn’t have the ability to transfer on if Durborow could be eligible for parole in 25 years — identical to they hadn’t been capable of get closure for the final decade, questioning if their matriarch’s killer was somebody they knew, or standing in line behind them on the grocery retailer.
As Earl Black took the stand Wednesday, he informed Skanchy, “I don’t have it collectively too nicely.” He obtained one sentence out earlier than he broke into sobs.
“For 11 years, I’ve needed to stay with out Sherry,” he mentioned. “My life won’t ever be the identical.”
He didn’t need anybody else to undergo what he and his household have felt previously decade, he mentioned.
“Put him away,” he mentioned. “Please.”
Earlier than asserting the sentence, the choose mentioned Sherry Black “would have wished our hearts to develop with love, moderately than shrink from animosity.”
“And I hope that in the present day, as a part of this, that you just get that,” he continued. “And I hope, Mr. Durborow, you get that too.”
After Skanchy issued the sentence, Salt Lake County District Legal professional Sim Gill and Salt Lake County Sheriff Rosie Rivera each launched statements Wednesday, providing condolences to the Black and Miller households.
“This was not solely against the law in opposition to a household, but in addition our group. At the moment a measure of justice was discovered,” Gill mentioned. “It’s imperfect however the very best our system can do. … Justice could be that they by no means needed to undergo the lack of a beloved one to start with.”