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Teenager arrested after pastor's pregnant wife is murdered

Amanda Blackburn was shot in the head while at home with her infant son.

Davey, Amanda and their son Weston.
Davey, Amanda and their son Weston.
Image: WRTV Indianapolis

AN 18-YEAR-OLD MAN arrested in the fatal shooting of an Indianapolis pastor’s pregnant wife during an apparent home invasion will face 13 charges, including murder, according to court records.

Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry told a news conference about the criminal charges in Amanda Blackburn’s killing, but provided no other details.

Online court records show Larry Jo Taylor Jr, who was arrested overnight on a preliminary murder charge in her death, faces 13 charges that include murder, burglary, criminal confinement while armed with a deadly weapon and robbery resulting in serious bodily injury.

It wasn’t clear if all the charges arose from Blackburn’s killing, or if they might also include charges stemming from Taylor’s alleged involvement in the burglary of a nearby home shortly before she was attacked.

Taylor was being held at the Marion County Jail and it wasn’t immediately clear whether he has an attorney who can speak on his behalf.

Blackburn (28) was shot in the head during an attack on 11 November at her Indianapolis home and died the next day. The couple’s 15-month-old son, Weston, was at home upstairs in a crib but was not harmed in the attack.

Her husband, Pastor Davey Blackburn, had gone to the gym that morning and returned home to find his wounded wife, who was 13 weeks pregnant at the time.

amanda2 Amanda Source: WRTV Indianapolis

He said in a statement today that he’s “extremely relieved” police have arrested a suspect in her killing but said it doesn’t “undo the pain we are feeling”.

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.

Blackburn said investigators have told him they have a “solidly-built case.” He said he hopes 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”.

Police have not released additional details on Taylor’s arrest or the allegations he faces.

‘Going without sleep to solve murders’

Officers from the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department’s gang and violent crime units arrested Taylor with help from US Marshals, police said.

“All victims of criminal homicides deserve closure, and as a community we must send a collective message that violence is not an option,” Police Chief Rick Hite said in a statement. “Our detectives have worked tirelessly going days without sleep to solve murders in our city.”

Authorities said investigators would continue to follow all leads, including talking with individuals who may have knowledge of the case.

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 neighbours also reported seeing walking in the area, may have seen Davey Blackburn leave that morning shortly after the suspect allegedly burglarised a nearby house. Police had sought the public’s help by circulating images of a man caught on home surveillance cameras.

The Blackburns moved to Indianapolis from South Carolina to found the independent Resonate Church in 2012.

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