Pastor says he picks ‘love, not hate’ after arrests in pregnant wife’s murder

24 Nov 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

2 men charged in slaying of Indianapolis pastor’s pregnant wife.

Two Indianapolis men have been charged with the murder of a pastor’s pregnant wife during an apparent home burglary, law enforcement officials said on Monday. Officials on Monday announced murder charges against two men—Larry Jo Taylor, Jr., 18, and Jalen Watson, 21—in the shooting death of Amanda Blackburn in the Indianapolis home she shared with her husband Pastor Davey Blackburn. The toddler was not hurt. “All victims of criminal homicides deserve closure, and as a community we must send a collective message that violence is not an option,” Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department Chief Rick Hite said in a statement.

Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry said at a later press conference that no decision has been made on whether to seek the death penalty in the case or whether additional charges would be filed due to Blackburn’s pregnancy. Investigators told him that they have a strong case, Blackburn said, adding that he was thankful for their “compassion and professionalism.” “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,” he said.

Blackburn’s partly nude body was discovered by her husband, Davey, when he returned home from working out at a gym, but it was not clear if she had been sexually assaulted, according to documents filed by the prosecutor’s office. The Blackburns moved to Indianapolis in January of 2012 “with a dream and a calling to start a life-giving church that would connect with people who normally wouldn’t connect with church,” the couple wrote on Resonate Church‘s Web site. The affidavit says the two men entered the house through the unlocked front door that morning after they had robbed two other homes, including one in the same neighborhood. Sometime before 5:30 a.m., police say, Watson, Taylor and Gordon embarked on a small crime spree in search of money that would end at the Blackburn residence.

They allegedly broke into an apartment miles away from the Blackburns where they stole an iPhone from the sleeping occupant’s bedroom, car keys, a laptop and a wallet, according to an account provided to the police by an unnamed “cooperating individual” and outlined in a probable cause affidavit. After discovering a security camera in the residence, Taylor wanted to kill the sleeping occupant, but Watson and Gordon talked him down, the account says. She said, ‘We don’t know what the future holds but we know who holds the future and that’s Jesus.’ “We’re drawing our strength from that and we know that Jesus holds the future and we can’t see it clearly but she sees it clearly now because she’s in Heaven with Jesus and we’ll see her soon.” Watson was released from prison Aug. 6 after completing his second sentence for burglary within the past three years, according to online inmate records from the Indiana Department of Correction.

Taylor also faces misdemeanor public nudity and public indecency charges stemming from an unrelated June incident where he allegedly exposed himself to a woman in a parking lot, court records show. Investigators believe the suspect, whom neighbors also reported seeing walking in the area, may have seen Davey Blackburn leave that morning shortly after the suspect allegedly burglarized a nearby house.

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