Former Upstate Pastor Releases Statement After Arrests Made In Wife’s Death

Amanda Blackburn and family

Three men were questioned in the Amanda Blackburn homicide and two of them have been arrested.

Indianapolis Metropolitan Police say Larry Taylor Jr. and Jalen Watson are charged with murder, felony murder and multiple counts of burglary. WTTV says Diano Gordan was the third person questioned.

Watson and Gordan were already in custody on parole violations. Taylor was re-arrested Sunday night after being taken into custody and released a few days earlier.

Detectives with the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD) says

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,” said IMPD Chief Rick Hite.  “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!”

Blackburn is the wife of former Upstate pastor Davey Blackburn, who worked at Newspring Church in Greenville.

Amanda’s husband and family released a statement Monday morning following the arrests:

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. The investigators have assured me they have a solidly-built case to ensure justice is levied and the process is expedited. The family and I couldn’t be more thankful for the level of compassion and professionalism the IMPD and investigators have shown us through the last couple of weeks. My hope is for 3 things in the weeks and months to come:

(1) That 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.

(2) That through all of this and although there will be great consequences for his actions, he would become truly sorry for what he has done and would even begin to experience the life-transforming power of the Grace and Mercy of Jesus Christ.

(3) That Jesus would give me and our family a heart of forgiveness.

Though everything inside of me wants to hate, be angry, and slip into despair I choose the route of forgiveness, grace and hope. 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. Today I am deciding to love, not hate. Today I am deciding to extend forgiveness, not bitterness. Today I am deciding to hope, not despair. By Jesus’ power at work within us, the best is STILL yet to come. Even when I don’t see it, I believe it to be true.

 

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