NewsLocal News / November 23, 2015

Accused Amanda Blackburn Killers Appear in Court, Face Additional Charges

Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry said Monday afternoon that three men have been charged in the death of Amanda Blackburn, the Indianapolis woman who was shot during an apparent home invasion and later died. Indianapolis, Amanda Blackburn2015-11-23T00:00:00-05:00
Accused Amanda Blackburn Killers Appear in Court, Face Additional Charges

Davey and Amanda Blackburn, undated photo.

Fox Carolina

Update, Nov. 24:

Prosecutors have filed additional charges against Larry Jo Taylor, Jr., the man accused of fatally shooting Amanda Blackburn.

Taylor faces an additional 20 years in prison and another murder charge for the death of Blackburn's unborn child. Twenty-eight-year-old Blackburn was 13-weeks pregnant when police say Taylor shot her three times during a home invasion Nov. 10.

The white wife of an Indianapolis pastor, Taylor died the next day. A second man is also charged with murder and a third is being held in connection to the crime.

Taylor and his co-defendent said little upon facing a judge for the first time since their arrest. A Marion County judge entered not guilty pleas for 18-year-old Taylor and 21-year-old Jalen Watson during a hearing on Tuesday morning.

They quietly answered the judge's questions about whether they understood the charges, but didn't say anything about the accusations.

Our original story:

INDIANAPOLIS -- Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry said Monday afternoon that two men have been charged in the death of Amanda Blackburn, the Indianapolis woman who was shot during an apparent home invasion and later died. 

Authorities said at an afternoon press conference that Blackburn was shot three times, including through the back of the head.

Larry Taylor, 18, was arrested early Monday and charged with murder. Jalen Watson, 21, has also been charged. Diano Gordon, 24, is being held on unrelated charges. The trio was questioned by investigators last week. A police informant helped link the three men to the murder, court records say.

The first break in the case, prosecutor Curry said, was a DNA match to Watson, who, like the other two suspects, has prior criminal charges.

"The first significant hit was a DNA CODIS hit that tied Mr. Watson to what was believed to be the sweater or t-shirt that covered the face of the individual that was using the bank card of Amanda Blackburn," Curry said.

Pastor Davey Blackburn said he's "extremely relieved" by the arrests, but says it doesn't "undo the pain we are feeling."

He said in a statement released Monday morning that investigators have told him they have a "solidly-built case."

Twenty-eight-year-old Amanda Blackburn was shot in the head during the Nov. 10 attack and died the next day. She was 13 weeks pregnant and the child did not survive.

According to investigators, Taylor, Watson and Gordon burglarized two homes in the neighborhood early that morning. Taylor and Watson entered the Blackburn residence through an unlocked door.

Watson and Gordon went to the bank in a vehicle they had stolen earlier in the morning and tried to use Blackburn's bank card to withdraw $500. They then returned to the house to pick up Taylor, an event that was captured on surveillance video. The stolen vehicle was later recovered by police, where police found the DNA-laced shirt.

Blackburn was found lying naked in a pool of blood with her shirt pulled up and her underwear next to her. She had facial wound and had been shot in the arm, back and head.

There is not enough evidence to say whether Blackburn was sexually assualted by her attackers, Curry said.

A decision hasn't yet been made whether the death penalty will be sought against Taylor and Watson. Curry said his office will review evidence in the coming weeks and meet with the family Amanda Blackburn before making a death penalty decision.

Police investigators say "opportunity" led the three suspects to burglarize the three homes. They could not say why that particular street was targeted, other than that the men lived nearby.

The couple's 15-month-old son was at home but not harmed in the attack. Davey Blackburn had gone to the gym that morning. Blackburn returned home around 7:30 a.m., about an hour after the attack, but remained in the driveway on the phone for another 50 minutes before discovering his wfie, court documents say.

The Blackburns moved to Indy three years ago to answer a calling from God and found the independent Resonate Church.

This article is by the Associated Press, WFYI's Ryan Delaney and WFYI's Michelle Johnson. WFYI's Chris Ayers contributed.

 

 

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