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Terry Black deemed mentally competent to stand trial, enters plea deal in 2012 rape and murder of child

Posted at 10:05 AM, Oct 11, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-11 12:09:08-04

A man accused of raping and killing a 6-year-old girl has been deemed mentally competent to stand trial and has entered a plea deal Thursday.

Terry Lee Black is the primary suspect in the kidnap, rape and murder of 6-year-old Sierra Newbold in 2012.

Black was declared mentally competent Thursday morning during a court hearing after a lengthy stay at a state run mental hospital, where he underwent treatment for mental health issues.

Immediately after being deemed competent, Black and his attorneys entered an “Alford plea” to charges of aggravated murder, child rape and child kidnapping.

An Alford plea is a legal term that refers to someone asserting they are innocent while acknowledging the evidence presented by the prosecution is likely to return a guilty verdict.

Black faces two sentences of 25 years to life and one of 15 to life for those charges, which will be served consecutively. That means that while there is a possibility of parole, this is in effect a sentence of life without parole.

This a developing story, check back for updates.