|Larry Taylor (left) and Jalen Watson (right)|
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.