Monday, November 23, 2015

Making Sense Of The Amanda Blackburn Killing Timeline

Larry Taylor (left) and Jalen Watson (right)
When news reports first announced early this morning that IMPD had arrested the young black men they believe were responsible for the home invasion and killing of Amanda Blackburn, wife of the local pastor of Resonate Church, Davey Blackburn, questions about the timeline of events recounted by police and prosecutors became a central concern of skeptics. Police said three men, Larry Taylor, Amanda's 18-year old accused killer, and two accomplices, Jalen Watson (21) and Diano Gordon (24), broke into two other homes in opposite parts of town prior to the Blackburn home invasion. That created a problem since the first break-in on San Clemente Drive had been reported to have occurred at 5:30 a.m. on the morning of November 10, about the same time police believed the trio had broken into one of the Blackburns' nearby neighbor's home. A probable cause affidavit filed in connection with today's announced charges against Taylor and Watson alters that timeline by close to an hour to account for the earlier timeline discrepancy.

According to the probable cause affidavit, the first break-in of an apartment at the Cottages of Fall Creek on the City's northeast side in Lawrence occurred earlier than 5:30 a.m. The apartment's owner says she awoke to discover the robbery of her apartment while she and her two daughters slept at 4:30 a.m. That's when she noticed her cell phone was missing and her patio door was left open with plants knocked over. Upon further search of her apartment, she realized she was missing a computer, along with her purse and keys and her Chrysler Sebring in the parking lot. The burglarized apartment owner waited almost an hour until 5:23 a.m. to report the break-in according to the police affidavit. The victim had a security system in her apartment that was motion-activated, and upon review by police, three men were captured by still images rummaging through her apartment. The burglars disabled the camera after their images had already been recorded.

These same three men traveled west at least 10 miles to the opposite side of town after leaving the apartment in the 5700 block of San Clemente Drive to the subdivision where the Blackburns home was located on Sunnyfield Court. The three men first entered the home at 2830 Sunnyfield Court, a few doors down from the Blackburns' home. A security camera inside that home was disabled at 5:36 a.m. The homeowner called police at 8:17 a.m. to report her home had been burglarized. They entered the 2830 home by tearing through a patio screen window and unlocking a dead bolt lock on the sliding door. The three men stole three TVs, a computer, a bag of oranges, bed sheets and a pink sweater from the home. The suspects took time to drink beer and wine while in the home, leaving behind the empty bottles. The men left though the front door, which the homeowner discovered was unlocked when she returned home shortly after 8:00 a.m.

Davey Blackburn would call 911 to report that his wife had been found shot and laying on the floor of their living room only minutes after his neighbor telephoned police. His 911 call was placed at 8:22 a.m. Here's where it gets really interesting. Blackburn told police he left for the gym at around 6:00 a.m. through the front door of his home a few doors down from his neighbor's home on the dead-end, cul-de-sac. The front door, which he left unlocked, would be the same door the suspects used to enter the home. Medics were dispatched to the home at 8:30 a.m, who called police for back-up due to the nature of Amanda's injuries. Medics were carting Amanda away at about 8:44 a.m. just as Officers Richard Crosby and Larry Crowe were arriving. Amanda was transported to Methodist Hospital where she would die the following day.

Detective Pete Perkins was dispatched to Methodist Hospital to question Davey Blackburn at 9:01 a.m. He learned Amanda had suffered three gunshot wounds, one to the head, one to the lower arm and one in her upper left back. Davey told the detective he left the LA Fitness gym about 7:10 a.m. and was talking on his cell phone to a friend (name redacted) as he was leaving and during his drive home. Davey says he pulled into his driveway at about 7:30 a.m.; however, he said he remained in his car talking on the phone to his friend for almost another 40 minutes. When Davey entered the front door of his home at 8:20 a.m., he discovered Amanda lying face down in a pool of blood on the living room floor. Amanda's panties had been removed and were lying next to her. Amanda's shirt had been pulled up as if someone had attempted to take it off. The report says it's unclear whether she had been sexually assaulted. Blackburn also noticed Amanda's credit cards and wallet lying on the floor. Davey noticed Amanda's purse on the kitchen counter, along with a Swisher Sweet cigar package, which he said should not have been in the house. A decorative ladder and lamp were also found knocked over in the living room next to Amanda. Her cell phone was found in her bedroom, which had a message on it from Chase Bank at 7:53 a.m. indicating possible unauthorized use of her ATM card. A laptop computer was discovered missing from the Blackburn home.

Neighborhood witnesses say they saw the young black man captured on a neighbor's surveillance camera heading away from the Blackburns' home at approximately 7:10 a.m. Another neighbor saw this man wearing a hoodie get in a Chrysler Sebring on a nearby street, which appeared to match the description of the car stolen from the apartment on the northeast side on San Clemente Drive. An ATM receipt requesting a withdrawal of $500 using Amanda's ATM card at a bank location on N. Michigan Road, which was denied, was found in the car. It was time-stamped 6:36 a.m. The men were able to successfully withdraw $400 from her account at a location on W 86th Street at 6:54 a.m. A pink sweater belonging to the neighbor whose home had also been robbed was found on the car's floorboard. Police also found bed sheets, a bag of oranges and an AT&T U-Verse remote in the trunk.

Another neighbor near the Blackburn home told police she heard what sounded like gunshots around 6:45 a.m. The stolen Sebring was found on Rockwood Avenue the following day around 10:30 p.m. In addition to the three gunshot wounds, an autopsy report noted that one of Blackburns' lower front teeth had been knocked out, and that she had scratches on her left cheek and a split lip. Surveillance camera images at the ATM machines and DNA testing helped tie the accomplices to the murder and burglaries Taylor is accused of committing. Police used cell phone pings to tie the suspects' cell phones to the various crime scenes at the times they were believed committed.

Police obtained confessions to the crimes from Watson and Gordon during subsequent interrogations, who implicated Taylor in the killing of Amanda. They were planning to leave Taylor behind in the subdivision after they left it with Amanda's ATM card, which Taylor had told them he retrieved from the Blackburn home after busting Amanda in the home. He later threatened to kill Amanda if the two didn't return to the subdivision to pick him up after going to ATM machines to get cash using her ATM card. The two claimed Taylor later told them he had shot Amanda before he left the home. All three men have had numerous run-ins with the law as their rap sheets can attest. Some people have wondered what the Blackburns' dog was doing during the home invasion. There no mention of it in the probable cause affidavit. One would think the dog would have been barking and trying to defend Amanda. Neighbors don't mention hearing a barking dog. A police detective did mention during an earlier press conference that the dog was present at the home and greeted them when they arrived to investigate on the morning of the shooting.

The Indianapolis Star has posted the full probable cause affidavit here.


LamLawIndy said...

Watson & Gordon implicating Taylor as the killer makes sense. They can argue that they did not forsee Amanda's murder & that they returned to try to stop it. This possibly saves them from the needle up at ISP; note the enhancement filed against Taylor.

Anonymous said...

Why would the perps hit a place all the way over in Brendon Way (old name of apartments)and then drive all the way to Wynnedale to hit another residence? What was their motivation for doing this? Why was the subdivision where the Blackburns lived targeted by the perps in the first place?

Gary R. Welsh said...

The police have been telling the local media the trio had been knocking off homes all over that northwest side of Indianapolis, in addition to the apartment complexes where they most recently resided. Of course the media doesn't ask why nothing was done to stop them from carrying on a crime spree that has turned so many lives upside down after their personal lives and homes were invaded by these roving gang members. It's almost like they sit back and watch them in action and wait until they commit a really horrific crime like the Blackburn murder before they decide to do something about it.

Anonymous said...

Shoulda stuck with my gut feelings that there is something wrong with this picture and with Davey boy. As for the incompetence of the IMPD... well, nuff said

Anonymous said...

The first to flip rule is in effect here.
There are a lot of bad facts in the pc.
The husband is a weird side story.
The dog should be immediately put down. What is the point of putting up with them if they don't at least bark when they are supposed to.
What a tragic event with only our community to blame.

Anonymous said...

It doesn't end. The public will now pay for a defense of these assholes and the public defenders will play lawyer games and drive up expenses (the profession stinks and are actually public enemies in these matters). We will then escort these scums to a soft life, with compassion and consulting and let them out of jail long before they should have been. It would be better to shoot the dog and then just shoot these scums.....tired of all the black excuses for their criminal behaviors. It might be unfair to some blacks but it is just bullshit to ignore the statistics having to do with black is bad enough that over concern with some bad apples has perverted the criminal justice system for 80 years or so. Tired of liberals mucking up excuses for their solid voting block...imagine quid pro quo? And, I don't want to hear any bullshit from any bleeding heart unless he can prove that the accumulation of statistics concerning black criminality is somehow jiggered and that the numbers have no meaning...that the numbers are racist....because they are not. They are an accurate description of past reality and also predict a liberal future...more rapes, more murders, more crimes, more lawyer games and gigs.

Unigov said...

Many aspects of a case appear suspicious but that's because there's so many aspects, at a least a few will raise an eyebrow.

Blackburn comes across as a bit of a loon, but it's a big leap to think he hired these thugs to kills his wife and baby.

The dog didn't bark...but some dogs don't, even around strangers.

He remained in his car talking on the phone to his friend for almost another 40 minutes. A suspicious mind might think he did this to make sure his wife had already bled to death. But lots of people do this, they get caught up on a call and don't want to get out of the car because, esp for a business call, inside the car the acoustics are good.

Anonymous said...

In other words Holmes, preacher Blackburn is not the present day Doctor Jeffrey MacDonald. And 'the dog that didn't bark' may have just been a friendly dog unlike in "Silver Blaze" where the fictional dog was described as being a guard dog. Don't read too much into how people react, or dogs for that matter, since there is no one rule as to how one behaves when under stress.

aliasapology said...

Very Very suspicious.....the details are amazing....I just can't clear the husband in my mind and I bet the detectives are having a hard time doing that too....

Anonymous said...

Then we have the usual gun control crowd going silent as they notice apartment break ins, no defensive weapons, and weapons only in the hands of the perps. Anyone think these cretins got their guns from a gun show? I see where Chicago had 450 murders at last count most with guns I'd assume. Wonder if they all got their guns in Indiana?