SALT LAKE CITY - The case for a man accused of kidnapping, raping and killing a 6-year-old girl is now on hold, and won’t be heading to trial any time soon.
Terry Black was in court for a competency hearing Tuesday and officials said his mental state has deteriorated, not improved.
"The mental condition of the defendant has gotten substantially worse in several areas,” Judge Douglas Hogan said.
The evaluation report states Black is now unable to understand what is happening, can’t communicate with his lawyer and doesn’t comprehend the penalties he could face.
"They say that he has a cognizant deficit,” Prosecutor Robert Stott said. “In other words, he doesn't think right. And also he's becoming more and more psychotic."
Black will now be in the custody of the Department of Human Services at the state hospital for at least 90 days, as they try to restore his competency.
It’s been a painfully slow three years for the Newbold family.
"They want to get it over with,” Stott said, in an interview after the hearing. “Why is the law taking such a long time?"
The case has been carrying on since June of 2012, when police said then-41-year-old Terry Black went into Newbold’s home, kidnapped Sierra, then raped the little girl and dumped her body in a canal.
Stott said the family is distraught with yet another delay. They’ll now be awaiting the results of a mental evaluation report, to be done 90 days into Black’s stay at the hospital.
“We'll see what their recommendations are whether or not they're able to [restore his competency] or not,” Stott said.
It could be another year before the court sees another hearing on the matter, he said.
Until then, the Newbold family’s fight for justice is on hold, as they continue the long battle for Sierra, and for closure.