SALT LAKE CITY (AP) – A man accused of killing and raping a 6-year-old West Jordan girl in 2012 has accepted a plea deal and been sentenced to 65 years to life in prison.
Terry Lee Black was sentenced Thursday after entering an Alford plea to aggravated murder, child rape and child kidnapping in the killing of Sierra Newbold.
She was kidnapped from her bedroom, beaten, strangled, raped and thrown into a canal where she drowned.
An Alford plea means a defendant denies guilt but acknowledges prosecutors have enough evidence to convict.
Judge L. Douglas Hogan sentenced Black after ruling he was competent to stand trial. Black has been receiving treatment at the Utah State Hospital.
Prosecutors said they entered into the agreement to prevent any further delays or any appeals of Black’s convictions.