INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Another suspect in the 2015 killing of Amanda Blackburn has agreed to a plea deal.
According to the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office, Diano Gordon will plead guilty to robbery resulting in serious bodily injury and burglary. In exchange for his guilty plea, other charges, including murder, will be dismissed.
"It is not unusual to especially in co-defending cases to charge everyone with everything. Try to figure out what really happened. They try to flip some co-defendants," said Attorney Chris Eskew.
Gordon agreed to help prosecutors make their case against Larry Taylor, who is also charged in the Blackburn case, according to the plea agreement filed this week.
Gordon is one of three men charged in the November 2015 death of Blackburn, who was pregnant at the time of her death. She was married to Davey Blackburn, a pastor at an area church.
Gordon was initially charged with murder, burglary, theft, and robbery resulting in serious bodily injury.
Attorney Chris Eskew of Eskew Law says plea deals like this can take some time but can give prosecutors the specific evidence and testimony they need to have a solid case in court.
"The better their testimony is the better the benefit they are going to get from the court. Technically, they are still pleading to very serious crimes. They are still looking at 30-years in prison each. So, it is not like they walked away with a misdemeanor," said Eskew.
Police said Blackburn was shot during a home invasion on Nov. 10, 2015. She died from her wounds two days later. The coroner’s office said she died from a gunshot to the head and ruled her death a homicide.
She and her husband moved from South Carolina to Indianapolis in 2012 to start Resonate Church on the north side.
Blackburn’s murder touched off a frantic search for suspects. Police announced the arrests of two men—Taylor and Jalen Watson—in late November 2015. Gordon was arrested and charged in December 2015.
Watson took a plea deal in October 2017, agreeing to plead guilty to robbery and burglary charges. All other charges, including murder, were dropped as part of the agreement. Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry said Watson agreed to help prosecutors in the Blackburn murder case.
"It seemed like there was one person primarily responsible for Miss Blackburn's death and that is who the prosecutor was focused on," said Eskew.
The case against Taylor is still pending.