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Salt Lake County Sheriff's Office

Suspect in Sherry Black killing was convicted of assault, attempted rape as a teenager

By Pat Reavy, KSL | Posted - Oct. 14, 2020 at 7:12 p.m.



SOUTH SALT LAKE — Up until his arrest on Saturday, Adam Antonio Spencer Durborow had a relatively uneventful criminal history as an adult in Utah.

But the man now accused of killing Sherry Black a decade ago when he was 19 had a tumultuous juvenile record that includes convictions for aggravated assault and attempted rape, according to police reports and court documents obtained by KSL through public records requests.

Durborow, 29, remained in the Salt Lake County Jail Wednesday where he is being held for investigation of aggravated murder and aggravated burglary. The Salt Lake County District Attorney’s Office began screening Durborow’s case for possible formal charges on Tuesday.

Black, 64, the mother-in-law of former Larry H. Miller Group CEO Greg Miller, was found stabbed to death inside her South Salt Lake bookstore, B&W Billiards and Books, on Nov. 30, 2010. An Armani Exchange men’s belt with a waist measurement of approximately 36-38 inches and a sticker on the back of the buckle with the number “323” was collected at the crime scene, 3466 S. 700 East, as well as blood.

Despite media coverage over the years and efforts to find a match to DNA evidence left at the crime scene, no one was arrested and no suspects ever named until Saturday’s unexpected arrest by Unified police.

In May 2006 in Davis County, Durborow, who was 14, was convicted of attempted rape and aggravated assault in juvenile court, according to court records.

Whether DNA was collected after he was convicted in that case and whether it was put into a database and remained there after Durborow turned 18 was unknown Wednesday. Durborow was 19 at the time of Black’s death.

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Police have said DNA collected at the crime scene was entered into a national criminal database. But no match was ever found, meaning the killer had not been arrested for committing another violent crime since Black’s death, had fled the country or was dead.

In 2008 in Iron County, Durborow, who was then 16, was convicted of aggravated assault “with weapon or force,” court records state.

Because of his behavior as a teen, Durborow ended up in a juvenile detention facility in Salt Lake County. While there, Durborow took part in the Granite School District’s Youth in Custody program. School district records showed Durborow completed his junior and senior years of high school under the care of the juvenile justice system.

When Durborow was 19 he committed a shoplifting offense on Sept, 16, 2010. He pleaded guilty in West Valley City Justice Court on Oct. 27, 2010 — one month before Black was killed. Durborow was sentenced to probation.

According to a West Valley City police report obtained by KSL, Durborow was accused in that case of shoplifting two CDs from a ShopKo. He was confronted by a store employee after he left the store, and told the employee that “he was on probation and did not want to go to jail.”

At that time, Durborow’s biological mother stated that her son stayed with her at her home “on a regular basis,” according to the police report.

Court records show Durborow’s birth mother lived just a mile away from Black’s bookstore in 2010. His arrest citation also listed Durborow as being 6 feet 3 inches tall, weighing 215 pounds at the time.

Then on Jan. 15, 2011, Durborow committed another theft in West Valley City, according to court records. He pleaded guilty on Feb. 1, 2011, and was ordered to serve six months in jail.

In that case, Durborow was temporarily placed in a foster home for a week because his regular foster parents were out of town and he needed a place to stay, according to a West Valley police report. At that time, he was under the jurisdiction of Pioneer Youth and Adult Community Services, the report states.

Durborow was accused of stealing watches and a jewelry box from the foster home. When confronted by the foster mom, Durborow denied taking the items, but appeared “like a kid that was scared and nervous,” she wrote in a witness statement form submitted to police.

When officers questioned Durborow, he eventually confessed, but it was because he was trying to keep his job, the report states.

Durborow said he was working for a company and had caught two employees smoking marijuana and dealing pills, according to the report. The men told Durborow that if he did not want to get fired, he needed to do something to prove that he wouldn’t “rat them out,” the report states.

“I was told that if I had no way to prove that I would not rat them out for smoking bud and spice and dealing in pills they couldn’t help me get (a job). So I took the watches for collateral and gave them to (the man),” Durborow wrote in a witness statement form.

The watches were recovered and the man he gave the watches to was convicted of misdemeanor theft, according to court records. Durborow was also sentenced to six months in the Salt Lake County Jail for his role in that theft.

But Durborow has maintained a clean criminal record since then. According to his Facebook page, he enrolled in Clearfield Job Corps in 2012 and subsequently posted about working and being employed after that.

A police affidavit filed for Durborow’s arrest in the Black case notes that “fingerprints and palm prints of a suspect” were collected from the crime scene in 2010. But as of Wednesday, police have not said what led them to investigate Durborow.

Contributing: Dave Cawley, Keira Farrimond, KSL Newsradio

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