McKINNEY –– During the fourth day of testimony in the 2011 slaying of a Collin County fitness instructor, a Plano detective described text messages found on her ex-boyfriend’s phone that he said illustrates problems between the two.
Terrence Black, 48, is being tried for the murder of Pilates instructor Susan Loper.
Plano Police detective Jeff Rich testified Thursday that he extracted text messages and calendar information from Black's iPhone.
Several dates had countdowns by day. On Nov. 29, 2009, Black wrote, "lost her again." One month later, he wrote, " Lost her again. God must help." On another calendar entry, Black wrote, "I'm gone. God failed me. God never answered any prayers for me."
In several entries, Black wrote "smoker.” Prosecutor John Schomburger asked the detective if that could be short for "smoke her", referring to killing someone. Rich replied, "yes".
A cell phone expert testified Black was in North Texas the morning of the murder. His phone was tracked from Fort Worth to Abilene to El Paso to New Mexico and finally to Arizona, where he was captured after he threw himself over a 25-foot ledge at the Grand Canyon while fleeing park rangers.
A special agent also testified Thursday. Black told park rangers he lost his money and ID then took off down a trail. All of a sudden, the ranger told the jury Black jumped off the trail and into the canyon.
Two tourists who watched Black jump also took the stand. Patti Johnson said the suspect leaped in front of her three kids. Johnson told the jury Black put his hands in front of his face and actually dove in, landing on a ledge about 25 feet below.
During opening statements on Monday, Schomburger argued he fled the rangers because he was guilty. Black’s attorney, Jim Burnham, said his client was upset over the murder and money troubles.
“Attempted suicide is not evidence of murder,” Burnham told the jury on Monday.
Testimony continues Friday.