Indianapolis Metro Police have a murder suspect in custody in connection with the death of a pregnant pastor’s wife. IMPD announced the arrest of 18-year-old Larry Taylor early Monday morning. He has been preliminarily charged with the murder of Amanda Blackburn. Taylor was one of four men taken into custody last Thursday for questioning by police however media reports indicate he was let go at the time while two of the others, Jalen Watson, 21 and Diano Gordon, 24, were detained on unrelated matters such as parole violations. These men are still in custody in relation to this case and pending investigations to other home burglaries in the area. Police investigators are not at this time saying what evidence they have that led them back to Taylor, nor have they “officially” confirmed to us that the pregnant 28-year-old mom was raped before being shot in the head and killed, as is being commonly reported. However that detail is one that made this crime particularly heinous in the generally quiet Woods of North Kessler neighborhood on Indianapolis’ northwest side.
Surveillance footage shows the suspect in the area at the time of Amanda’s murder. Other internal surveillance footage show three men inside one of the other burglarized homes.
IMPD Police Chief Rick Hite expressed his gratitude regarding results in this case:
“We are thankful to our federal, state and local partnerships that aided in the apprehension of the suspect in this terrible and senseless crime. All victims of criminal homicides deserve closure, and as a community we must send a collective message that violence is not an option,”
This story is continuing to develop and we expect to learn more details of the case, possibly later on Monday, when the Marion County Prosecutor’s office is expected to file formal charges. Hite added, “With the assistance of Assistant U.S. Attorney Josh Minkler and Prosecutor Terry Curry justice will be done!”
Meanwhile, the victim’s husband is also speaking out. Pastor Davey Blackburn and Amanda’s family released a statement Monday morning after news broke regarding a break in this deadly case:
“Though it does not undo the pain we are feeling, I was extremely relieved to get the news of the arrest made last night of Amanda’s killer. The investigators have assured me they have a solidly-built case to ensure justice is levied and the process is expedited. The family and I couldn’t be more thankful for the level of compassion and professionalism the IMPD and investigators have shown us through the last couple of weeks. My hope is for 3 things in the weeks and months to come:
(1) That the court system would have wisdom on how to prosecute this man, so that no one else endures the pain Amanda and our family have had to endure because of his actions.
(2) That through all of this and although there will be great consequences for his actions, he would become truly sorry for what he has done and would even begin to experience the life-transforming power of the Grace and Mercy of Jesus Christ.
(3) That Jesus would give me and our family a heart of forgiveness.
Though everything inside of me wants to hate, be angry, and slip into despair I choose the route of forgiveness, grace and hope. If there is one thing I’ve learned from Amanda in the 10 years we were together, it’s this: Choosing to let my emotions drive my decisions is recipe for a hopeless and fruitless life. Today I am deciding to love, not hate. Today I am deciding to extend forgiveness, not bitterness. Today I am deciding to hope, not despair. By Jesus’ power at work within us, the best is STILL yet to come. Even when I don’t see it, I believe it to be true.”
Amanda Blackburn was the first lady of Resonate Church on Indy’s northeast side.
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