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3 charged in Indianapolis home explosion

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Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry announced Friday that three people have been arrested in connection with a home explosion in an Indianapolis suburb that killed two people last month and damaged dozens of homes.

Monserrate Shirley, her boyfriend Mark Leonard, and his brother Bob Leonard Jr. have been charged in connection with the Nov. 10 explosion in Richmond Hill. The explosion at Shirley’s residence ignited a fire at the home of next-door neighbors John and Jennifer Longworth, who died as a result.

The three, who were arrested Friday morning, face two counts of felony murder, one count of Class A felony conspiracy to commit arson, 12 counts of Class A felony arson, and 33 counts of Class B felony arson.

Mark Leonard and Shirley are also charged with an additional count of Class B felony conspiracy to commit arson. Investigators say the weekend before the explosion, Mark Leonard and Shirley also boarded their cat, had Shirley’s daughter stay with a babysitter at another home, and went to a casino. It’s alleged that the two attempted to set a fire that weekend, but for some reason it failed. They went through the same steps the weekend of the explosion.

The explosion also caused injuries to 12 people who lived in the neighborhood. At a press conference Friday, investigators said they discovered the microwave in the home of Shirley appears to have exploded from the inside out and that Mark Leonard recently changed the home’s thermostat from a digital one to a slide switch one, which could cause a spark. They also believe someone removed the step-down regulator to the manifold to the gas lines coming into the house, opened or removed the fireplace valve to allow for the flow of gas into the residence, and/or set a timing device to cause the ignition of the gas.

The probable cause affidavit notes that Shirley filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy this year but stopped making payments. There are two mortgages on the home and she owes $63,000 in unsecured credit card debt. Shirley recently increased the coverage limit on personal property on her homeowners’ insurance.

Curry emphasized at the news conference that these are just charges and the suspects are due their time before a court of law.  


 

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  1. A traditional parade of attorneys? Really Evansville? Y'all need to get out more. When is the traditional parade of notaries? Nurses? Sanitation workers? Pole dancers? I gotta wonder, do throngs of admiring citizens gather to laud these marching servants of the constitution? "Show us your billing records!!!" Hoping some video gets posted. Ours is not a narcissistic profession by any chance, is it? Nah .....

  2. My previous comment not an aside at court. I agree with smith. Good call. Just thought posting here a bit on the if it bleeds it leads side. Most attorneys need to think of last lines of story above.

  3. Hello everyone I'm Gina and I'm here for the exact same thing you are. I have the wonderful joy of waking up every morning to my heart being pulled out and sheer terror of what DCS is going to Throw at me and my family today.Let me start from the !bebeginning.My daughter lost all rights to her 3beautiful children due to Severe mental issues she no longer lives in our state and has cut all ties.DCS led her to belive that once she done signed over her right the babies would be with their family. We have faught screamed begged and anything else we could possibly due I hired a lawyer five grand down the drain.You know all I want is my babies home.I've done everything they have even asked me to do.Now their saying I can't see my grandchildren cause I'M on a prescription for paipain.I have a very rare blood disease it causes cellulitis a form of blood poisoning to stay dormant in my tissues and nervous system it also causes a ,blood clotting disorder.even with the two blood thinners I'm on I still Continue to develop them them also.DCS knows about my illness and still they refuse to let me see my grandchildren. I Love and miss them so much Please can anyone help Us my grandchildren and I they should be worrying about what toy there going to play with but instead there worrying about if there ever coming home again.THANK YOU DCS FOR ALL YOU'VE DONE. ( And if anyone at all has any ideals or knows who can help. Please contact (765)960~5096.only serious callers

  4. He must be a Rethuglican, for if from the other side of the aisle such acts would be merely personal and thus not something that attaches to his professional life. AND ... gotta love this ... oh, and on top of talking dirty on the phone, he also, as an aside, guess we should mention, might be important, not sure, but .... "In addition to these allegations, Keaton was accused of failing to file an appeal after he collected advance payment from a client seeking to challenge a ruling that the client repay benefits because of unreported income." rimshot

  5. I am not a fan of some of the 8.4 discipline we have seen for private conduct-- but this was so egregious and abusive and had so many points of bad conduct relates to the law and the lawyer's status as a lawyer that it is clearly a proper and just disbarment. A truly despicable account of bad acts showing unfit character to practice law. I applaud the outcome.

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