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Suspect Arrested In Sherry Black’s Murder Has Criminal Past

OREM, Utah — More details have emerged about the man accused of killing beloved wife, mother, and bookstore owner, Sherry Black.

It appears the suspect spent time in juvenile detention around the time of Black’s murder in Nov. 2010, which could explain the lack of database matches for the finger and palm prints found at the crime scene.

“It’s surprising to me that there’s all this criminal activity, thefts, juvenile and alleged murder,” said JP Brummer, a criminal defense attorney.

Brummer is not connected to the case, but has been following its developments and points out that the bulk of 29-year-old Adam Durborow’s criminal offenses happened within a short time frame.

Adam Duborow’s known criminal history:

  • Sept. 26, 2010 – Arrested for shoplifting in West Valley City
  • Nov. 30, 2010 – Sherry Black is murdered
  • Jan. 15, 2011 – Arrested for theft in West Valley City
  • Nov. 8, 2011 – Arrest warrant issued for missed court hearing
  • July 22, 2019 – Infraction, no proof of insurance

“There appears to be a series of criminal activity in 2010 and 2011, and then it just completely stops,” said Brummer.

In that time frame, court documents indicate Durborow was arrested and pled guilty to theft before and after he allegedly took Sherry Black’s life at her South Salt Lake bookstore in Nov. 2010. It also looks like he was referred to the juvenile justice system at the time of his first theft offense.

“He had just turned 19 years old,” said Brummer. “There is a possibility that he committed a serious felony while he was a juvenile and he was still finishing up a program or a sentence there.”

It’s also unclear whether Durborow was in custody at the time of his arrest for theft, or under a probationary supervision through the juvenile justice system.

It wasn’t until his second theft arrest in early 2011 that he was booked and fingerprinted into Salt Lake County Jail. But it’s unclear if those fingerprints ever proved a match with the crime scene, as detectives shared years ago.

“We have DNA, we have fingerprints,” said the detective in 2015. “This guy’s going to be in CODUS because he’s a bad guy, right? He’s a bad guy or he’s going to have fingerprints on file, but he’s not.”

It was Durborow’s DNA, documents indicate, that linked him to Black’s murder nearly 10 years later.

“So, there’s a possibility that the fingerprints were not a match and that’s why he was not flagged in the system until the DNA was retrieved,” said Brummer.

The DNA found at the crime scene has been a key piece of evidence throughout the investigation, along with an Armani Exchange belt believed to belong to the suspect.

In 2017, detectives even used DNA from the crime scene to create a suspect sketch, showing an uncanny resemblance to Durborow.

“It’s a little eerie,” said the criminal defense attorney.

However, the information of what led detectives to secure a warrant for Durborow’s DNA just four days before the arrest remains to be shared, among many other questions, including why his criminal actions seemingly came to a screeching halt after 2011.

“I don’t know if he just thought that, ‘if I get caught again, if I get in the system again, they’re going to be able to connect me to this murder,’ and then just made sure he steered clear of the police,” said Brummer. “We just don’t know.

Durborow’s criminal record in the juvenile justice system is sealed, likely along with any fingerprints taken from him.

Charges are expected to be screened through the District Attorney’s office early next week.

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