Police: No suspects in slaying of Jazz owner's mother-in-law

Dec 2 2010 - 12:18am

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(JIM URQUHART/The Associated Press) Utah Jazz assistant coach Phil Johnson (left) and coach Jerry Sloan bow their heads during a moment of silence for Sherry Black before a game Wednesday. Black, the mother-in-law of Jazz CEO Greg Miller, was found stabbed to death Tuesday.
Sherry Black
(The Associated Press) Mary Wade, who lives near B&W Billiards and Books, reacts to news of a stabbing at the small shop in South Salt Lake on Tuesday.  Police say they have no immediate suspects in the slaying of the mother-in-law of Utah Jazz executive Greg Miller. Detectives were collecting evidence Wednesday at the South Salt Lake book shop where 64-year-old Sherry Black was found stabbed to death Tuesday afternoon. Police Officer Gary Keller says Black was found by her husband, Earl, and that the man is not a suspect.
(The Associated Press) South Salt Lake police investigate the fatal stabbing of 64-year-old Sherry Black, the mother-in-law of Jazz CEO Greg Miller.
(The Associated Press) South Salt Lake police respond to B&W Billiards and Books in South Salt Lake on Tuesday on a report of a possible stabbing. Police say they have no immediate suspects in the slaying of the mother-in-law of Utah Jazz executive Greg Miller. Detectives were collecting evidence Wednesday at the South Salt Lake book shop where 64-year-old Sherry Black was found stabbed to death Tuesday afternoon.
(JIM URQUHART/The Associated Press) Utah Jazz assistant coach Phil Johnson (left) and coach Jerry Sloan bow their heads during a moment of silence for Sherry Black before a game Wednesday. Black, the mother-in-law of Jazz CEO Greg Miller, was found stabbed to death Tuesday.
Sherry Black
(The Associated Press) Mary Wade, who lives near B&W Billiards and Books, reacts to news of a stabbing at the small shop in South Salt Lake on Tuesday.  Police say they have no immediate suspects in the slaying of the mother-in-law of Utah Jazz executive Greg Miller. Detectives were collecting evidence Wednesday at the South Salt Lake book shop where 64-year-old Sherry Black was found stabbed to death Tuesday afternoon. Police Officer Gary Keller says Black was found by her husband, Earl, and that the man is not a suspect.
(The Associated Press) South Salt Lake police investigate the fatal stabbing of 64-year-old Sherry Black, the mother-in-law of Jazz CEO Greg Miller.
(The Associated Press) South Salt Lake police respond to B&W Billiards and Books in South Salt Lake on Tuesday on a report of a possible stabbing. Police say they have no immediate suspects in the slaying of the mother-in-law of Utah Jazz executive Greg Miller. Detectives were collecting evidence Wednesday at the South Salt Lake book shop where 64-year-old Sherry Black was found stabbed to death Tuesday afternoon.

SOUTH SALT LAKE -- A day after the slaying of Utah Jazz executive Greg Miller's mother-in-law, detectives were collecting evidence Wednesday at the South Salt Lake book shop where she was found stabbed to death.

Police had no immediate suspects in the slaying of Sherry Black, 64, who was found by her husband Tuesday afternoon at their store, B&W Collector Books and Billiards Supply, said police Officer Gary Keller.

Miller and other family members huddled Wednesday with detectives, and they planned to discuss a possible reward for help solving the case, said Jazz spokeswoman Linda Luchetti.

The husband, Earl Black, isn't a suspect, Keller said.

No funeral arrangements have been made.

Family members know of no reason anyone would want to hurt Sherry Black, said her brother, Jim Waycasy, of Provo.

"She was just a great person, and her husband is in a state of shock," Waycasy, 68, said Wednesday. "She built up that business over 40 years by herself, put herself through college while working."

Customers ring a bell at the book store, which calls Black from her house next door, Waycasy said.

He said Black was working alone when she was killed and it's possible an assailant planned a robbery.

But "we don't know of anything that's missing," he said.

The Jazz held a moment of silence before Wednesday night's game against the Indiana Pacers. A photo of Sherry Black was shown on the giant screen at EnergySolutions Arena, while public address announcer Dan Roberts asked fans to remember the victim's family after the "senseless act of violence."

"It's a terrible thing to have to deal with," Jazz coach Jerry Sloan said Wednesday. "Our hearts go out to the Miller family."

Jazz general manager Kevin O'Connor met with the team before Wednesday morning's shootaround and told them of the family tragedy.

Miller is chief executive of the Larry H. Miller Group of Companies. He issued a statement calling the death of his mother-in-law "a senseless act of violence."

One of his team's stars, Deron Williams, had a similar reaction at a practice session Wednesday.

"This world we live in is messed up," he said. "Things like this shouldn't happen, but they do. Everybody should be with their family."

Detectives were collecting forensic evidence at the Black's shop on a busy South Salt Lake street.

Sherry Black collected used books for sale, mostly Mormon texts and children's books. Earl Black sold billiard tables at the same shop, said a longtime friend of the couple, Steve Wagner.

Wagner said he was at a loss for a motive in the slaying.

"Greatest people on the planet, both of them," said Wagner, an electrician who shared rafting trips with the Blacks in Utah.

"They were modest people. They didn't expect anything from their kids. They were happy."

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