Teenager Arrested in Murder of Indiana Pastor’s Wife Amanda Blackburn

Blackburn-compressedINDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department’s Gang and Violent Crime Unit, along with U.S. marshals, arrested a teenager on Sunday in the death of Indiana pastor’s wife Amanda Blackburn.

The suspect has been identified as 18-year-old Larry Taylor of Indianapolis, who neighbors state they saw in the area the morning that Blackburn was killed. Detectives believe that Taylor, who sought to burglarize the home, observed Pastor Davey Blackburn leaving the residence to go to the gym. He then entered the front door, which had been left onlocked as Amanda Blackburn waited for her husband to return home.

Jalen Watson and Diano Gordon, ages 21 and 24, are also being held for suspected participation the crime. According to WDRB-TV, police believe that Watson and Gordon stole Blackburn’s bank card while Taylor remained and killed the pastor’s wife. Surveillance footage had shown someone using her bank card at a local ATM and gas station.

“We are thankful to our federal, state and local partnerships that aided in the apprehension of the suspect in this terrible and senseless crime,” IMPD Chief Rick Hite said in a press release. “All victims of criminal homicides deserve closure, and as a community we must send a collective message that violence is not an option.”

“Our detectives have worked tirelessly going days without sleep to solve murders in our city,” he continued. “With the assistance of Assistant U.S. Attorney Josh Minkler and Prosecutor Terry Curry justice will be done!”

As previously reported, Davey Blackburn founded Resonate Church three years ago to “see a contagious movement of God spread throughout Indianapolis.” The couple gave birth to a baby boy last year named Weston, and recently learned that they were expecting their second child.

But on Nov. 10, when Davey Blackburn came home from the gym, he found his wife, 28, lying unconscious on the floor with a gunshot wound to the head. She was rushed to the hospital, but was declared brain dead.

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The following day, Blackburn was removed from life support, and both she and her 12-week-old baby Evie died.

Last week, police released two surveillance photos that showed a person of interest in connection with the attack.

“Amanda made it her life’s calling to love and serve everyone she knew. Even more, she has made it her life’s mission to see as many people as possible come to know Jesus as their personal Savior,” Davey Blackburn said in a statement following his wife’s death. “I know that in her death and legacy even more people will come to a saving faith in Christ.”

Prosecutors will not be seeking charges for the death of the couple’s unborn child as Indiana state law only considers the killing of “a fetus that has attained viability” to be murder, voluntary manslaughter or involuntary manslaughter.

Update 11/23/15 9:17 p.m.: Jalen Watson, 21, has also been arrested for Blackburn’s murder.


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