IMPD arrests two men in Amanda Blackburn murder case

Victim learns chilling details of burglary before Blackburn murder

Stolen car, denied ATM withdrawal provide clues in Amanda Blackburn murder arrests

Serial Burglars Now Charged in Amanda Blackburn Case

IMPD arrests two men in Amanda Blackburn murder case

Stolen car, denied ATM withdrawal provide clues in Amanda Blackburn murder arrests

Stolen car, denied ATM withdrawal provide clues in Amanda Blackburn murder arrests

Davey Blackburn: 'I choose the route of forgiveness, grace and hope'

Amanda Blackburn
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Indianapolis Metro Police have arrested two suspects in connection with Amanda Blackburn's murder.

Larry Jo Taylor, 18, was arrested on a preliminary charge of murder. Jalen E. Watson was later arrested, also on a preliminary charge of murder.

Taylor faces a total of 13 charges, including three for murder, three related to burglary (with serious bodily injury), theft, criminal confinement while armed with a deadly weapon and auto theft.

Read the probable cause documents.

Watson was already in custody because of a parole violation in an unrelated case. He was charged Monday for Blackburn's murder. Ten total counts were filed against him, including two charges of murder, one count of burglary with serious bodily injury, one count of robbery with serious bodily injury, two counts of burglary of a dwelling, three counts of theft and one count of car theft.

At a press conference Monday afternoon, Prosecutor Terry Curry said detectives' first break in the case was tied to DNA found on the sweater of someone who used Amanda Blackburn's stolen bank card. There were three total burglaries the suspects are accused of. Evidence from the first led police to the others and to Blackburn's suspected killer.

"A DNA codis hit...tied Mr. Watson to a sweater or T-shirt to cover the face of the individual who was utilizing the bank card," said Curry, speaking to reporters Monday.

"We never lost faith and Detective Tom Lynn, he is one of the best in the business, as far as I am concerned," said Ryan McConnell, Amanda Blackburn's neighbor.

Amanda's husband, Pastor Davey blackburn, called 911 after finding his 12-weeks pregnant wife shot to death. After he left for the gym early Tuesday, November 10th, prosecutors say Larry Taylor and Jalen Watson entered the Blackburns' unlocked front door. Inside, Amanda put up a fight. But court documents say Taylor admitted to Watson and Diano Gordan he shot Amanda in the back of the head while they were away using her bank cards at the ATM.

Davey Blackburn, Amanda's husband, released a statement Monday following Taylor's arrest, saying he and his family are "extremely relieved."

Taylor is one of four men who were questioned in Amanda Blackburn's murder. Taylor is currently in the Arrestee Processing Center.

Sources close to Eyewitness News Crimebeat reporter Steve Jefferson say undercover officers spent all day Sunday to get Taylor in custody. Sources say police were warned that Taylor may have been armed.

Despite reports Blackburn was sexually assaulted, Prosecutor Curry said there was "insufficient evidence" to file sex assault charges in this case. Prosecutors do plan to evaluate a possible enhancement charge because Blackburn was pregnant when she was murdered.

When asked why the suspects targeted that one specific neighborhood, police said the suspects are from the northwest side, but otherwise, "Why they targeted that specific neighborhood, I don't know."

Amanda Blackburn's husband, Pastor Davey Blackburn, found her shot Nov. 10 when he returned home from a workout at the gym. 

IMPD released the first surveillance photos of a person of interest in her murder Nov. 16 in the hopes of garnering the public's help. At Monday's press conference, police repeatedly thanked the community for their help and petitioned community members in other areas where there are unsolved cases to also continue coming forward to help solve those cases.

Officers with the Violent Crimes Unit, Gang Task Force, and United States Marshals Service were able to take Taylor into custody Sunday without incident. 

In a statement, IMPD Chief Rick Hite said, "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. Our detectives have worked tirelessly going days without sleep to solve murders in our city. With the assistance of Assistant U.S. Attorney Josh Minkler and Prosecutor Terry Curry justice will be done!"

Neighborhood appreciation

The neighborhood where the crime took place has been on edge since it happened two weeks ago.

IMPD held roll call there Monday afternoon, and homeowners greeted officers with signs of appreciation, notes and cards, and even some baked goods.

"We have been very thankful for them and we want to show our appreciation for them, and I think sometimes they are under recognized and that officers don't get the appreciation they deserve," said Pat Milda, the Blackburns' neighbor.

"The more I read it, it became more solid that this is a definite. Obviously, we will see what happens with the courts," said Kurt Baker, neighbor.

The officers were moved by the show of appreciation, which also included signs on mailboxes and notes on their patrol cars.

RELATED STORIES
Person of interest in Blackburn murder (Jalen Watson) has lengthy criminal record
Family member of person of interest speaks up about Amanda Blackburn case
Davey Blackburn shares private moment before Amanda's death


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