Experts testified today that the DNA of alleged murderer Terrance Deering Black was found in victim Susan Miller Loper’s vehicle during the seventh day of evidence in the McKinney, Texas courthouse. Earlier testimony proved Wichita Falls, Texas native Susan Miller Loper was beaten to death on April 19, 2011 in Frisco, Texas.
It was another huge day for the prosecution team as witnesses told jurors that the defendant’s DNA was located not only on the gear shift, but also on the headrest of Susan Loper’s vehicle. This fits in perfectly with the state’s theory that the defendant abducted the Wichitan from her place of employment at the Gleneagles Country Club and then drove her in her own vehicle to a field near North Dallas Tollway where he left her body after brutally beating her to death.
There was still more powerful evidence presented today in the form of testimony from DNA expert Amy Smuts of the University of North Texas that the clump of hair found in the center console of Terrance Black’s vehicle belonged to Susan Miller Loper or one of her relatives. Her testimony was based on mitrochondial DNA testing.
The state was also successful in damaging the attempt of the defense to accuse Ms. Loper’s boyfriend Jayson Hayes as being the possible killer. Dr. Burlyn Nelon testified Tuesday that Hayes was at his office in Burleson, Texas at 8 a.m. the day Ms. Loper was murdered. Nelon further said Hayes’ demeanor seemed normal that morning, and that he would have observed any blood or perspiration during his visit. Since opening statements the defense has attempted to point the finger at Hayes. Today’s testimony that Hayes was in Burleson less than two hours after law enforcement has said Loper’s body was dumped in a field in Frisco is damaging to the defense.
Detective Scott Epperson was called to the stand for the fifth time as the last witness Tuesday. Epperson repudiated a statement Black made to a friend. The defendant claimed he had been out of town since April 18, one day before the Wichita Falls native was killed. Epperson testified that cell phone data placed Black in North Texas on the morning of April 19. Video from a Shell gas station in The Colony showing Black filling up with gasoline on April 19 was also shown to the jurors.
Terrance Black, the owner of a $250,000 house in Frisco, Texas, drove his Cadillac Escalade to the Grand Canyon three days after Ms. Loper’s vicious murder. He dived off the south rim after leaving behind two suicide notes. Law enforcement was able to track him to America’s largest canyon by using cell phone tracking data.
The prosecution is expected to call its final witnesses Wednesday and then rest. The trial will commence at 8 a.m. Wednesday and could last until 9 p.m., according to Judge John Roach who wants to finish the trial by this Labor Day weekend.
There is no word on what witnesses, if any, the defense will call.
Susan Miller Loper was a 1989 graduate of Wichita Falls Rider High School and starred in plays and musicals on Broadway in New York before moving to Frisco.
Readers interested in helping out 12-year old Jake Loper who was so senselessly deprived of his mother may send checks to : Jake Loper Trust Fund c/o Ferguson Law Group, 2500 Dallas Parkway, Suite 260, Plano, Texas 75093.
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