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 for parole.
Sporting an orange jumpsuit and black face masks, Adam Antonio Durborow, 30, sat along with his shoulders slumped as seven of Black’s relations pushed via tears of their Wednesday testimony, describing Black and the way her dying 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 for parole.
“She helped anybody she might, any method she might,” Courtney Hawks, Black’s first grandchild, stated through 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 special 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 residence and bookstore in South Salt Lake, referred to 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 neighborhood. The Jazz noticed a second of silence earlier than their recreation the day after she was killed.
Days and weeks, then months and years handed and not using a lead within the case. The household gathered commonly 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 stated they discovered no indicators Durborow pressured his method contained in the bookstore. Nothing appeared stolen.
Protection lawyer Heidi Buchi stated Wednesday that Durborow was “very offended” that day, noting that he had endured issues “no baby 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 fallacious.”
“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 stated.
She requested the choose to impose a sentence of 25 years to life in jail, which might have included the potential for parole.
‘My life won’t ever be the identical’
Members of the family advised Skanchy on Wednesday that Sherry Black’s killing left a gap of their household. Grandchildren misplaced not solely their grandmother, but additionally their mom and grandfather, who have been consumed by grief after Black’s dying.
When Earl Black discovered his spouse that day, it broke him, they stated. He by no means slept within the couple’s residence 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 lady, simply 38 when Hawks was born, taught her tips on how 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 only say, “Hi there.” 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 stated they wouldn’t be capable of transfer on if Durborow can be eligible for parole in 25 years — identical to they hadn’t been in a position to 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 advised Skanchy, “I don’t have it collectively too nicely.” He received one sentence out earlier than he broke into sobs.
“For 11 years, I’ve needed to stay with out Sherry,” he stated. “My life won’t ever be the identical.”
He didn’t need anybody else to undergo what he and his household have felt up to now decade, he stated.
“Put him away,” he stated. “Please.”
Earlier than saying the sentence, the choose stated Sherry Black “would have needed our hearts to develop with love, somewhat 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 a criminal offense in opposition to a household, but additionally our neighborhood. Right this moment a measure of justice was discovered,” Gill stated. “It’s imperfect however the perfect our system can do. … Justice can be that they by no means needed to undergo the lack of a beloved one to start with.”