Man accused in pastor's wife's death charged in 2nd slaying

AP News
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Posted: Dec 29, 2015 1:28 PM

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — An 18-year-old man accused of killing an Indianapolis pastor's pregnant wife during a home invasion faces another murder charge in a second fatal robbery that a prosecutor said Tuesday happened amid an "unprecedented" eight-day violent crime spree.

Larry Jo Taylor Jr., was charged Monday with murder and robbery resulting in serious bodily injury in the Nov. 4 fatal shooting of Rolando Gonzalez-Hernandez.

The 27-year-old Indianapolis man's body next to his sport-utility vehicle at an apartment complex and he had died from a gunshot wound to the head, according to a probable cause affidavit.

That court document states that three cooperating witnesses told authorities Taylor said he robbed and shot someone at the apartment complex where Gonzalez-Hernandez was slain. One of the witnesses told police Taylor said he robbed and shot "a Mexican" and found only $10 in his wallet.

Messages left for Taylor's court-appointed attorneys seeking comment were not immediately returned Tuesday.

But Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry said Tuesday the felony charges Taylor now faces — two murders, a rape during a home burglary and two other home burglaries — are the most violent he has brought against a single individual during his five years as prosecutor. Those crimes occurred between Nov. 3 and Nov. 10, court documents allege.

"We've charged Mr. Taylor with five very violent crimes in the course of an eight-day period and certainly in our five years in office that's unprecedented," he said in an interview. Curry said the only comparable cases he's handled were two violent home invasions that occurred in October 2013.

Taylor and co-defendant Jalen Watson, 21, face murder charges in the Nov. 10 shooting death of 28-year-old pastor's wife Amanda Blackburn. Both remain in the Marion County Jail, pending a Jan. 8 pretrial conference.

Prosecutors said Taylor and Watson after burglarizing two other homes entered Blackburn's home through its unlocked front door shortly after her husband, Pastor Davey Blackburn, left for the gym that morning. A probable cause affidavit alleges Taylor shot Amanda Blackburn three times, including once in the back of the head.

The couple's 15-month-old son was at home upstairs in a crib but was not harmed in the attack.

Amanda and Davey Blackburn, both children of Christian pastors, moved to Indianapolis from South Carolina in 2012 to found the independent Resonate Church.

Curry said his office is still weighing whether to seek the death penalty against Taylor in Blackburn's killing.

Taylor and Watson also face burglary and other charges in a Nov. 3 home invasion. Taylor faces a rape charge in that case for allegedly sexually assaulting a woman while holding a handgun to the back of her neck.