- Associated Press - Monday, July 20, 2015

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - The Utah Supreme Court has cleared the way for the trial of a Utah man accused of raping and killing a 6-year-old girl.

The high court decided Friday that it isn’t necessary to remove Judge Mark Kouris (KOO-ris) in the case of Terry Lee Black over allegations of bias because he’s already been transferred

An attorney for 43-year-old defendant says the judge ridiculed and mocked Black’s lawyers during a nine-minute diatribe after they asked for a delay to determine whether Black is mentally competent to stand trial.

Prosecutors denied the allegations of bias against Black, who is accused of abducting Sierra Newbold from her home in June 2012. Police say he beat, raped and strangled her before throwing her in the canal, where she drowned.

Black could face the death penalty if convicted.

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