ILNews

Hearings set for trio charged in southside Indy explosion

IL Staff
April 8, 2013
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Three people charged in an explosion that killed two people and leveled part of a southside Indianapolis housing development will go before a judge in Marion Superior Court on Wednesday.

Mark Leonard, Bob Leonard Jr., and Monserrate Shirley are charged with murder and arson for their roles in the November 2012 explosion that devastated the Richmond Hill neighborhood. Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry is seeking life sentences without parole for the three suspects.

The three suspects are scheduled to appear before Judge Sheila A. Carlisle at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday in Marion Superior Court Criminal Division 3.

Mark Leonard, along with his brother Bob Leonard Jr., and Mark Leonard’s girlfriend Monserrate Shirley, were arrested in December and charged with two counts of murder and multiple counts of arson. Authorities say the three defendants rigged Shirley’s residence at 8349 Fieldfare Way to fill with natural gas then explode and burn in order to collect insurance money.

But the explosion was massive, and the resulting fire spread to John and Jennifer Longworths’ home next door, causing their deaths. More than 30 homes were destroyed or seriously damaged in the explosion, and at least seven people in the neighborhood were injured.

While awaiting trial in jail, Mark Leonard also was charged last month with conspiracy to commit murder. The prosecutor’s office said he tried to arrange with an inmate a murder-for-hire plan to kill a potential witness. 

Shirley also faces a count of insurance fraud for filing a claim two days after the house explosion stating that the fire was an accident.







 

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  1. From his recent appearance on WRTV to this story here, Frank is everywhere. Couldn't happen to a nicer guy, although he should stop using Eric Schnauffer for his 7th Circuit briefs. They're not THAT hard.

  2. They learn our language prior to coming here. My grandparents who came over on the boat, had to learn English and become familiarize with Americas customs and culture. They are in our land now, speak ENGLISH!!

  3. @ Rebecca D Fell, I am very sorry for your loss. I think it gives the family solace and a bit of closure to go to a road side memorial. Those that oppose them probably did not experience the loss of a child or a loved one.

  4. If it were your child that died maybe you'd be more understanding. Most of us don't have graves to visit. My son was killed on a state road and I will be putting up a memorial where he died. It gives us a sense of peace to be at the location he took his last breath. Some people should be more understanding of that.

  5. Can we please take notice of the connection between the declining state of families across the United States and the RISE OF CPS INVOLVEMENT??? They call themselves "advocates" for "children's rights", however, statistics show those children whom are taken from, even NEGLIGENT homes are LESS likely to become successful, independent adults!!! Not to mention the undeniable lack of respect and lack of responsibility of the children being raised today vs the way we were raised 20 years ago, when families still existed. I was born in 1981 and I didn't even ever hear the term "CPS", in fact, I didn't even know they existed until about ten years ago... Now our children have disagreements between friends and they actually THREATEN EACH OTHER WITH, "I'll call CPS" or "I'll have [my parent] (usually singular) call CPS"!!!! And the truth is, no parent is perfect and we all have flaws and make mistakes, but it is RIGHTFULLY OURS - BY THE CONSTITUTION OF THIS GREAT NATION - to be imperfect. Let's take a good look at what kind of parenting those that are stealing our children are doing, what kind of adults are they producing? WHAT ACTUALLY HAPPENS TO THE CHILDREN THAT HAVE BEEN RIPPED FROM THEIR FAMILY AND THAT CHILD'S SUCCESS - or otherwise - AS AN ADULT.....

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