The prosecution rested its case this morning with the testimony of a Plano police detective who said all the evidence pointed to defendant Terrance Black as the murderer of Wichita Falls, Texas native Susan Miller Loper on April 19, 2011 in Frisco, Texas. Detective Scott Epperson refused to be shaken by questioning from defense attorneys today from that opinion in the McKinney, Texas courthouse.
Defense attorneys tried to develop their theory of reasonable doubt by pointing the finger of suspicion in the direction of Ms. Loper’s boyfriend at the time of her death. Detective Epperson said there was no reason for law enforcement to seek a search warrant for Jason Hayes blood or fingerprints because none of the evidence indicated he was involved in her death. Epperson testified that Jason Hayes was co-operative during the investigation and voluntarily gave police blood, hair and saliva samples anyway. The detective said there was no probable cause to even seek a warrant for Hayes’ bodily fluids.
Hayes took the stand yesterday and denied he was involved in Ms. Loper’s murder. He said he had visited her several times at the Plano Gleneagles Country Club where she worked as a physical fitness instructor. Hayes explained he had visited her 15-20 times at the country club while they were dating, thus explaining his fingerprints being found on a privacy screen at the club.
Earlier in the trial prosecutors had presented evidence showing it would be difficult if not impossible for Hayes to have killed Ms. Loper in Frisco at 6 a.m. and make it to his job at 8 a.m. at a pharmaceuticals company in Burleson.
Epperson also maintained his belief throughout cross-examination that there was no reason to suspect ex-husband Craig Loper as the killer. The Plano detective said there was no evidence connecting Mr. Loper to the crime. He said Mr. Loper co-operated fully with the investigation.
“Mr. Loper’s concern throughout the investigation was the welfare of their son Jake.”
Readers interested in helping Jake may send checks to Jake Loper Trust Fund c/o Ferguson Law Group, 2500 Dallas Parkway, Suite 260, Plano, Texas 75093.
The presiding judge re-iterated to jurors they may work as late as 9 p.m. tonight if necessary to complete the trial before this weekend.
Earlier testimony showed Black fled Frisco and traveled to the Grand Canyon where he jumped off the South Rim as authorities attempted to arrest him.
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