INDIANAPOLIS — A judge on Monday declared a second mistrial of a man accused of murdering a pastor’s wife in 2015 after jurors learned details about the Indianapolis case’s long history in the system. judicial.
Larry Jo Taylor Jr.’s trial was scheduled to begin on Monday, but Superior Judge Marion Grant Hawkins declared a mistrial after a juror briefed other jurors on the history of the case, including that a A mistrial had been declared during Taylor’s first trial in December, The Indianapolis Star reported.
Taylor’s trial has now been postponed until August. Taylor is one of three men who police say were involved in a November 2015 series of home invasions in northern Indianapolis that ended when 28-year-old Amanda Blackburn was killed by shot at home when she was 12 weeks pregnant with her second child.
She was killed two years after she and her husband, pastor Davey Blackburn, moved to Indianapolis from South Carolina to start Resonate Church, which closed in 2019.
Hawkins had declared a mistrial at Taylor’s first trial after learning that some jurors knew Blackburn was pregnant – a fact that defense attorneys managed to steer clear of to the jury.
Taylor, 25, faces 13 counts including murder, burglary and forcible confinement while armed with a deadly weapon.
Taylor’s two co-defendants accepted plea deals on the condition that they cooperate with his prosecution. Jalen E. Watson pleaded guilty in 2017 to charges of theft and burglary. He was sentenced in March 2021 to 29 years for the robbery charge and 20 years combined for the burglary charges, and ordered to serve the sentences concurrently.
Diano Cortez Gordon pleaded guilty in 2018 to robbery causing serious injury and burglary charges. His sentencing has not yet been set.