Facebook Twitter

Public defender appointed for man charged with murdering Sherry Black

SHARE Public defender appointed for man charged with murdering Sherry Black

Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill, left, announces aggravated murder charges against Adam Antonio Spencer Durborow, 29, pictured on computer screen, in the 2010 death of Sherry Black during a press conference at the district attorney’s office in Salt Lake City on Monday, Oct. 26, 2020. Gill was joined at the event by other officials involved in the case.

Steve Griffin, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — A judge has appointed a defense attorney for the man charged this week in the 2010 stabbing death of bookstore owner Sherry Black.

Adam Durborow, 29, of Orem, faces a charge of aggravated murder, a capital offense. He declined Judge Mark May’s offer to provide more details about the charge during a brief arraignment hearing Wednesday in Salt Lake City’s 3rd District Court.

“No sir, I understand completely,” Durborow replied over a video feed from the Salt Lake County Jail. He has not yet entered a plea.

On Nov. 20, 2010, Black, 64, was killed inside B&W Billiards and Books, the shop she owned with her husband, Earl Black, at 3466 S. 700 East in South Salt Lake. Durborow, who was 19 at the time, regularly stayed at his mother’s home just a mile away from the bookstore, prosecutors allege.

Prosecutors said Monday that phenotyping, a tool using DNA to predict a person’s appearance, played a key role in finally linking Durborow to Black’s death earlier this month.

For several years after Black was killed, police said, DNA testing confirmed the blood came from a male suspect but failed to match any genetic information in a national criminal database.

As a teenager, Durborow was convicted in 2006 of attempted rape and aggravated assault in the juvenile justice system. A judge ordered him to provide a saliva sample in that case, but it remains unclear whether the DNA was collected or if it remained on file at the time of Black’s death, when Durborow was 19.

Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill, however, has said he is confident detectives uncovered all the information available.

May appointed him a public defender, an attorney who represents low-income clients at no cost.

Durborow returns to court on Nov. 2.