Sentence enhancement filed for Amanda Blackburn's unborn child as suspects appear in court today

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Suspects in Murder of Pastor's Wife Plead Not Guilty

INDIANAPOLIS (WTTV) -- The two men charged in the murder of Amanda Blackburn made their first court appearance Tuesday.

The suspects, 18-year-old Larry Jo Taylor, Jr. and 21-year-old Jalen Watson, entered a not guilty plea and both were assigned public defenders. Prosecutors requested a no contact order be issued for several people, and the judge approved the request.

SEE MORE: 2 charged with murdering pastor's wife Amanda Blackburn

With charges now filed in the Blackburn case, prosecutors have a number of options available at their disposal, ranging from sentence enhancements to the death penalty.

Prosecutors announced Monday that two men, 18-year-old Larry Jo Taylor, Jr. and 21-year-old Jalen Watson, have been charged in the murder of Amanda Blackburn, a pastor's pregnant wife who was shot during a home invasion robbery on Nov. 10.

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Sentence enhancement filed for Amanda Blackburn's unborn child as suspects appear in court today
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This little dude. 💋💋💋
This last year I have fallen more in love with my beautiful wife, @amandagblackburn than I ever imagined I could love someone . . . I'm so incredibly grateful to The Lord that 28 years ago he brought her into this world and orchestrated our lives to intertwine. She is my best friend, my confidante, my rock, and the lift behind God's call on my life. I truly cannot imagine doing life without her. Happy Birthday to the greatest wife on planet earth, the greatest mom any husband could hope for for his kids and the Godliest woman I know!
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Saturdays. 🍁
That Blackburn guy is hott!
Making someone's Thursday morning better by paying for their donuts! But we also had to get some for ourselves. 😏 #ForIndy #randomactsofkindness
Happy 7 years @daveyblackburn! 7 is the perfect number so I'm believing this will be our best year yet! Life with you is fast, intense and stretching...but I've never been more fulfilled! Thank you for leading me and never letting me settle! ❤️
Downtown fireworks! One of our favorite traditions! #happyfourth @daveyblackburn
6 years later and our lives are looking a little bit different...Happy Anniversary to the love of my life! Our adventure continues and I'm so glad I get to do this next part with you, @daveyblackburn! xoxo
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Taylor has been charged with felony murder, three counts of burglary, three counts of theft, robbery resulting in serious bodily injury, criminal confinement, auto theft and carrying a handgun without a license. Watson has been charged with murder, three counts of burglary, three counts of theft, robbery resulting in serious bodily injury and auto theft.

Marion Co. Prosecutor Terry Curry says they'll treat this like any other case, and take the family's wishes into consideration.

"In every single case where there are aggravating factors, we follow the same procedure every single time," said Curry. "We meet internally to review the case, and we meet with the family and ultimately make a decision rather than making a decision based on snap judgment."

Because Amanda was pregnant, prosecutors could add a sentence enhancement of six to 20 years, under a state law written by State Sen. Jim Merritt after the 2008 shooting of a pregnant woman whose baby didn't survive. Tuesday, the Marion County Prosecutor's Office confirmed the filing of a sentence enhancement related to murder resulting in the termination of pregnancy. It will be added to the case and presented to the jury in trial. If the enhancement is applied to the sentencing, it could add an extra 6 to 20 years to the sentence.

"It is heartbreaking," said Merritt. "I'm hopeful that it allows prosecutors to have another tool in the toolbox to say to that criminal that if you fire a gun you might not only be killing one person, you might be killing two."

Pretrial has been scheduled for Jan. 8, 2016.

WATCH: Family of Amanda Blackburn reacts to arrests:

Family of Amanda Blackburn Reacts to Arrests

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