INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A man found guilty of murder, robbery and other charges in the 2015 murder of a pastor’s wife in Indianapolis during a burglary has been sentenced Friday to 86 years in prison.
Larry Jo Taylor Jr. was also convicted in September after a four-day trial for burglary, theft, criminal incarceration and carrying an unlicensed gun for the murder of Amanda Blackburn. He was acquitted of a robbery. His two jury trials ended in mistrial, most recently in June-.
“Nearly seven years after this tragic and senseless murder, justice for Amanda has been secured,” said Marion County Attorney Ryan Mears. “I commend the Blackburn family and the community for the tremendous amount of patience and grace they have shown during this process. We hope that today’s resolution will put the finishing touches on a very difficult chapter.”
Taylor was one of three men police said were involved in a November 2015 series of home invasions on the north side of Indianapolis that ended when Amanda Blackburn, 28, was fatally shot at her home while 12 weeks pregnant with her second child. .
She was killed two years after she and her husband, Reverend Davey Blackburn, moved to Indianapolis from South Carolina to found Resonate Church, which closed in 2019.
Taylor’s two co-defendants accepted plea deals on the condition that they cooperate with his prosecution. Jalen E. Watson pleaded guilty to theft and burglary in 2017. He was sentenced to 29 years on the theft charge and 20 years together on the burglary charge in March 2021, and ordered to serve the sentences simultaneously.
Diano Cortez Gordon pleaded guilty in 2018 to theft causing serious bodily harm and burglary. Gordon was sentenced in September to 30 years in prison, five of which were probation.
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