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Defendant in neighborhood explosion now faces conspiracy to commit murder charge

March 28, 2013

Mark Leonard, one of three arrested and charged for an explosion in an Indianapolis neighborhood that killed two people, has been charged with Class A felony conspiracy to commit murder. The Marion County Prosecutor’s Office alleges he attempted to arrange a murder-for-hire plan while in jail on charges stemming from the explosion.

According to the affidavit for probable cause, Leonard allegedly attempted to arrange through an inmate housed in the same cell block, the murder of a potential witness in the Richmond Hill explosion case. The agreement was made in writing by Leonard, who would allegedly pay $15,000 upon his release from jail. The written agreement also included a map to the individual’s home.

Leonard, along with his brother Bob Leonard Jr. and girlfriend Monserrate Shirley, are charged with two counts of murder, multiple counts of arson and other related charges in connection to the November 2012 explosion.

Investigators allege that the three defendants purposefully rigged Shirley’s residence at 8349 Fieldfare Way to fill with natural gas then explode and burn in order to collect insurance money. However, the house ignited a massive explosion and the resulting fire spread to John and Jennifer Longworths’ home next door, causing their deaths. Numerous other homes were destroyed or damaged in the explosion.

The next court appearance for the defendants is scheduled for April 10. Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry is seeking life sentences without parole for the three.

 

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