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Pastor whose wife was slain releases statement

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Posted at 7:43 AM, Nov 23, 2015
and last updated 2015-11-23 10:43:15-05

Indianapolis police arrested an 18-year-old man late Sunday on murder charges for the death of Amanda Blackburn.

Detectives with the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department arrested Larry Taylor, 18, on preliminary charges of murder. Police said Taylor was one of four suspects brought in for questioning about Blackburn's death earlier in the week.

MORE | Four suspects questioned in connection with death of Amanda Blackburn

Blackburn was shot in the head during a home break-in on Nov. 10. Her husband, pastor Davey Blackburn, came home to find her unresponsive. She died less than a day later of her injuries.

Davey released a statement Monday morning on the arrest:

"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."

MORE | Pastor's wife killed in home break-in on northwest side

Police say Amanda was 12 weeks pregnant with the couple's second child at the time of her death.

Call 6 Investigates has learned Larry Taylor has been arrested twice before. In June 2015, Taylor was arrested for indecent exposure in the Nora Plaza on Indianapolis' north side. In September 2014 , Taylor was arrested on burglary charges. People were in the southside home when Taylor and several others broke in. 

MORE | WATCH: Last videos of the Blackburns' selflessness | Pastor speaks out for first time about slain wife

"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," IMPD Chief Rick Hite said in a statement. "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!" 

 

Davey will now have to raise his 15-month–old son Weston without his mom.

"One of the hardest things in this whole process is knowing he's not going to grow up with Amanda," Davey said. "She was the perfect mom. I wish every mom in the world could've learned from her. I wish every wife in the world could've learned from her."

There was another burglary two houses down of the Blackburn house around 5:30 a.m. the morning of her death, and police believe the two are connected.

"Our neighborhood was so close," Davey said. "It was such a seemingly safe neighborhood. This has devastated all the neighbors. We knew all the neighbors. ... We're just as confused as everybody else."

The brutality and seeming randomness of the crime sparked local and national outrage, and an intense hunt for Blackburn's killers.

"The only thing that's necessary for evil to triumph is for good people to do nothing," Eric Hench of IMPD said.

No details about Taylor's involvement in the murder were initially released, and it wasn't clear whether any other arrests were pending in the case.

Police are still looking for more information about Amanda’s death. If you have any information that could help solve this case, please call Crime Stoppers at 317-262-TIPS (8477). You can remain anonymous and still possibly receive a reward of up to $1,000.

 

MORE ON BLACKBURN HOMICIDE:

Photos released of suspect in Blackburn's murder
Family, friends remember Blackburn's life
End 'snitching', help catch Blackburn's killer
Amanda Blackburn's neighbors look for answers
2015 could end as Indy's deadliest ever