Terrance Black found guilty of Susan Loper's murder

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by TERESA WOODARD

WFAA

Posted on August 30, 2012 at 4:54 PM

Updated Friday, Aug 31 at 1:02 AM

McKINNEY - A Collin County jury found Terrance Black guilty of capital murder in the deadly beating of Plano Pilates instructor Susan Loper around 4:30 p.m. Thursday after four-and-a-half hours of deliberations.

Black will face an automatic life sentence without parole.

Judge John Roach said he got great satisfaction in sentencing Black, telling him he charmed his victim, then when he didn't get his way, he stalked her, obsessed over her, then beat her and dumped her body. He told Black he left an innocent boy without a mother.

"You, sir, are pure evil," Judge John Roach said directly to Black after the verdict.

Susan Loper was a 40-year-old single mother from Plano. She was killed in April 2011. Jurors believe Black, Loper's ex-boyfriend, was the killer.

The friends and family of Susan Loper sighed after the verdict was read and began crying in the courtroom.

"A lot of people will tell us justice has been served," said Marla Malone, a longtime friend of Loper. "But for the people Susan left behind, there is no justice because she's not here, and he is."

Malone was the only person to speak to Black before he was sentenced, reading a victim's impact statement on behalf of Loper's family and friends.

Wendy Black, Terrance Black's sister, lashed out after the verdict.

She said, "Automatic appeal!" as she walked out the courtroom door, followed by, "Susan did not get justice."

When she got outside the courthouse she repeated that sentiment.

"We did not get justice, Susan did not get justice," she said. "No evidence - physical evidence - tied this case to my brother."

Wendy Black claimed detectives violated her privacy during the investigation.

"As far as I'm concerned, the State of Texas is the Lone Star state. When did you guys secede from the union that the rest of us don't know about?" she said, complaining about the tactics used to gather evidence.

The verdict came after eight-and-a-half days of testimony.

Black's lawyers focused on Jayson Hayes, who was Loper's boyfriend when she died. They contend police should have taken a closer look at Hayes, but instead focused on their client.

The prosecutor argued there was no evidence Hayes was involved, that Black planned and targeted Loper, and left her body in a Frisco field to decompose.

Because they found Terrance guilty of capital murder, life in prison without the possibility of parole was the automatic sentence. Malone said she supported the decision not to seek the death penalty.

"We want him to have many years in prison to sit and think about what he's done," Malone said. "Day after day, hour after hour, minute after minute."

E-mail twoodard@wfaa.com

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