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James Black Appears In Court

June 25, 2007, 6:02 PM by Lou Raguse

James Black Appears In Court
The Lennox man accused of killing his grandmother stood before a judge Monday. 

James Black, 45, will stay in jail without bond for the time being. He's charged with first-degree murder in the death of his grandmother, 81-year-old Florence Geersema. 

It appears the details of this case will come out very slowly. Authorities aren't even releasing the cause of death yet.  The judge sealed the search warrant, which lays out the reasons police went into Florence Geersema's home, and what they found.

Perhaps the most telling detail to come out in court was the look on Black's face.

James Black carried a look of devastation to the courtroom today.  His face scratched — possibly from a struggle stemming from the first murder in Lincoln County in more than two years. 

"This will be the most important case in our office at this point," says Lincoln County State's Attorney Tom Wollman. "This will certainly be first and foremost as we proceed through the next few months."

Wollman believes Black acted alone in killing his grandmother Florence Geersema. He'd been living with her for a short time leading up to her death, and was in her house when authorities found her body. 

"There was some talk immediately before he was taken into custody," Wollman says.

Investigators aren't releasing what was said before officers arrested Black, and they won't say much about why a concerned person called 911. 

"There was some information that someone was possibly injured at that location," Wollman says.

In the courtroom Black rested his head on the table as he waited for the judge to enter and read him his rights. 

His lawyer says he'll ask for a mental evaluation. 

In the meantime, the prosecution is building its case. 

"We're still developing evidence, even today," Wollman says.

Black spent time in prison for a burglary and robbery arrest in 1989. Since then, he's been arrested several times on charges of drunk driving, disorderly conduct and marijuana possession. 

According to protection orders two different people filed against him, Black has made violent threats in the past.

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