In a message on forgiveness on Sunday, pastor Davey Blackburn of Nothing Is Wasted Ministries revealed how God helped him to forgive when he struggled to embrace the concept when he first learned about the suspects involved in the 2015 murder of his first wife, Amanda Blackburn.
“When I first saw on the news the guys that now stand trial for having killed my wife, like up to that moment I was dealing with a lot of sadness. Just a lot of intense, deep, deep, grief. But when I saw their faces, immediately I experienced something I’ve never experienced before in my life. I experienced a deep, dark, scary, frightening rage. I never experienced that before and honestly it freaked me out,” said Blackburn in a Facebook Live broadcast of his sermon delivered at the Mercy Road Church in Indiana.
“I mean, to be honest with you, it would have been so much easier for me to dismiss things if I hadn’t seen that,” he said.
Blackburn explained that once he was able to confront his emotions, he noticed it had been welling up inside him like a cancer and he wanted to “respond in vengeance.”
“Man, I can’t tell you how many times I imagined in my head, what if the investigators, the prosecutors, what if they … just let me in a room with them. What would I do? And I began to imagine it. But that began to bring into this really deep dark place that I didn’t like and it was destroying me. And then Jesus subtly reminded me, ‘Davey, I was murdered for your sin. You, Davey, murdered me and I chose to forgive you,” he said.
He then explained that when we forgive we trust God with vengeance and it’s the best action to take because of God’s bigger perspective on life.
Two of the three suspects charged with the 2015 murder of Amanda Blackburn, have now had the murder charges against them dropped after agreeing to plea deals, while the case for murder against the remaining suspect is still pending.
The Marion County Prosecutor's Office said in a Fox 59 report that charges including the one for murder against suspect Diano Gordon, now 28, was dismissed in exchange for his pleading guilty to robbery resulting in serious bodily injury and burglary.
The late Amanda Blackburn moved with Davey Blackburn from South Carolina in 2012 to start Resonate Church in Indiana. On the morning of Nov. 10, while Davey was away at the gym, police said his wife was shot three times, including once in the head during a home invasion. She succumbed to her injuries the following day along with their unborn daughter, Everette "Evie" Grace Blackburn.
Police announced the arrests of two men, Larry Jo Taylor Jr., then 18, and his accomplice, Jalen Watson, then 21, and charged them with murder and a litany of other crimes in late November 2015. Gordon, who was 24, at the time, was arrested and charged in December 2015.
Watson also had charges including murder dismissed against him in a plea deal in October 2017 in an agreement that would see him joining Gordon in testifying against Taylor, who authorities are hoping to convict for the murder.
Taylor’s trial is still pending while Davey Blackburn’s book Nothing Is Wasted: A True Story of Hope, Forgiveness, and Finding Purpose in Pain, has been placed on hold until after Taylor’s trial.
In early 2018, a RTV6 report said that Davey Blackburn’s unpublished manuscript could be used in his wife’s murder trial after Marion County Judge Grant Hawkins granted a request by Larry Jo Taylor’s defense counsel to review it.
Taylor’s public defender, Jeff Neel, was granted permission to review the manuscript ahead of trial Feb. 7, 2018. On the same day, however, the judge granted a motion by Taylor to dismiss his legal counsel and represent himself in the trial. Neel was noted as remaining as counsel for the issue of reviewing the manuscript on court documents.
Attorney Jack Crawford, who is not connected to the case and hasn't read the manuscript, said it could be helpful to the defense.
“My guess is the defense will be looking for behavior inconsistent with a grieving spouse,” Crawford said. “Anything indicating unusual behavior or unusual observations about his wife’s death. Anything suggesting his reaction wasn’t ‘normal.’”
He continued: “What you do in a defense case, particularly where the evidence is mounting against your client, is you want to make the case about the truth — but you want to make it about your truth. Not the government’s or the state’s or the prosecution’s truth.”
According to Amazon, Blackburn’s book is set to be published on July 28, 2020.