INDIANAPOLIS – A juror’s admission led to another mistrial in the high-profile case against a man charged with murdering Amanda Blackburn.
Larry Jo Taylor Jr. is accused of killing Blackburn during a home invasion in November 2015.
Taylor’s trial was scheduled to begin Monday morning, but the jury was dismissed in a surprise move. A juror revealed to other members of the panel that she knew about the long-developing case and a previous mistrial. The juror had previously told the court she had no knowledge of the case.
Judge Grant Hawkins granted a motion for a mistrial requested by both the defense and prosecution, according to court records. The judge planned to confer with the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office to see if the jury should face any disciplinary action.
Taylor’s December 2021 trial also ended in a mistrial when jurors learned Blackburn was pregnant. As Taylor is not facing charges in connection with the unborn baby’s death, the judge declared a mistrial after jurors found out about the pregnancy. The judge was concerned the information could affect the jury’s feelings.
The Blackburn murder was one of Indy’s most infamous cases of the 2010s. Blackburn, 12 weeks pregnant with her second child, was shot to death during a home invasion robbery. She was the wife of pastor Davey Blackburn; the couple had moved from South Carolina to Indianapolis to establish a church.
Two other defendants in the case, Jalen Watson and Diano Gordon, accepted plea deals and no longer face murder charges. In exchange, they agreed to testify against Taylor.
The case against Taylor has taken years to put together, with dozens of witnesses needing to be whittled down to a manageable level. In addition, COVID-related delays and a series of different attorneys have contributed to the case’s long development.