Larry Taylor murder case gets another mistrial

to play

A trial scheduled to begin Monday against the latest suspect charged in connection with the death of Amanda Blackburn has ended in a mistrial.

According to Senior Judge Marion Grant Hawkins, one of the jurors told the others that he had heard about the case’s long and winding journey through the court system and was aware that a mistrial had been declared. in the same case for a similar reason in December.

Larry Jo Taylor, 25, is one of three men who police say were involved in a series of home invasions in the uptown area on a Tuesday morning in November 2015.

The final robbery at a house in the cul-de-sac of Sunnyfield Court ended in Blackburn’s death. The 28-year-old was shot three times, according to the Marion County Coroner’s Office. His cause of death was a gunshot wound to the back of the head.

The shooting made national news. Blackburn was the wife of Reverend Davey Blackburn. The couple had moved to Indianapolis from South Carolina two years before founding Resonate Church, which closed in 2019.

She was also 12 weeks pregnant when she was killed.

“Though everything within me wants to hate, be angry and sink into despair, I choose the path of forgiveness, grace and hope,” Davey Blackburn said in a 2015 statement, following the arrest of Taylor and another man in connection with the murder of his wife. death.

“Today I decide to love, not hate. Today I decide to extend forgiveness, not bitterness. Today I decide to hope, not despair. By the power of Jesus at work in us, the best is yet to come.”

What happened to the other two suspects

Taylor faces 13 counts, including murder, burglary and forcible confinement while armed with a deadly weapon. Prosecutors have also requested an upgrade to the murder charge because the murder terminated Amanda Blackburn’s pregnancy.

Under Indiana law, Taylor could be eligible for the death penalty or life imprisonment without parole if convicted, although prosecutors have not sought the death penalty.

He was charged alongside two co-defendants: Diano Gordon and Jalen E. Watson, both of whom accepted plea deals.

In 2017, Watson pleaded guilty to two felonies of burglary and one felony of robbery causing grievous bodily harm. Prosecutors dropped two murder charges against him as part of the plea. He was sentenced to 29 years in prison, with the possibility of early release if he cooperates with law enforcement and maintains a clean criminal record in prison.

A year later, Gordon also pleaded guilty to two counts of burglary and one count of robbery causing grievous bodily harm, all felonies. Like Watson, he faced two murder charges. His sentencing hearing has not yet been scheduled.

Both are working with prosecutors in the case against Taylor, who police say pulled the trigger in the shooting of Amanda Blackburn.

What the police say happened

IndyStar contacted Davey Blackburn’s family in May, but declined to discuss Taylor’s ongoing lawsuit. IndyStar also called and left a voicemail for Taylor’s mother requesting an interview.

After: Why a mistrial has been declared for one of the men accused of Amanda Blackburn’s murder

According to police, multiple 911 calls were made on the morning of November 10, 2015 to report separate home invasions. At around 5:20 a.m., a woman reported that she woke up to find her cell phone, MacBook laptop, purse and keys missing from her apartment. His car had also disappeared from the parking lot. The sliding glass door to her apartment was open, she said.

Three hours later, another woman reported a burglary at a house in Sunnyfield Court. Someone had ripped the patio screen and unlocked the patio door, police said. The house was missing “four televisions, a MacBook Pro, a Tiffany Pearl necklace, a pink women’s (sic) sweater, an AT&T Uverse remote, a bag of oranges and bed sheets,” according to police.

Five minutes later, someone else from Sunnyfield Court called 911. It was Davey Blackburn.

After: After the murder of his wife, Davey Blackburn shares “a message of forgiveness”

Davey Blackburn said he found his wife, Amanda, “injured and unconscious” on the living room floor, according to a police affidavit. Doctors transported her to IU Health Methodist Hospital where she died of her injuries two days later.

The pastor told investigators he left the house around 6 a.m. to work out at LA Fitness. When he left, he left the door unlocked, he said.

One of Amanda Blackburn’s bank cards and a bag with a MacBook Pro were missing from the house.

Police relied on DNA tests, surveillance footage and witnesses to identify the three suspects. They tracked calls made from phone numbers associated with the suspects to cell towers near areas where the home invasions occurred and near two ATMs where someone allegedly attempted to withdraw cash from Amanda Blackburn’s account.

Amanda Blackburn: The memory of the pastor’s wife attracts more than 2,000 people

An unnamed cooperating person who was allegedly with Taylor after the robberies said Taylor confessed to killing Amanda Blackburn. Taylor said “she charged at him and he shot her somewhere in the upper body so he wouldn’t get scratched,” police wrote in an affidavit.

While prosecutors are expected to focus on Amanda Blackburn’s pregnancy as a factor in the case, Taylor’s public defenders will likely argue that the defendant did not know she was pregnant.

The trial has been postponed until August.

Call IndyStar Courts Reporter Johnny Magdaleno at 317-273-3188 or email him at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @IndyStarJohnny

About Ferdinand Caldwell

Check Also

A perspective to the future

Since the latter part of the 19e century automobiles were the preferred mode of transportation …