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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  3. The practitioners and judges who hail E-filing as the Saviour of the West need to contain their respective excitements. E-filing is federal court requires the practitioner to cram his motion practice into pigeonholes created by IT people. Compound motions or those seeking alternative relief are effectively barred, unless the practitioner wants to receive a tart note from some functionary admonishing about the "problem". E-filing is just another method by which courts and judges transfer their burden to practitioners, who are the really the only powerless components of the system. Of COURSE it is easier for the court to require all of its imput to conform to certain formats, but this imposition does NOT improve the quality of the practice of law and does NOT improve the ability of the practitioner to advocate for his client or to fashion pleadings that exactly conform to his client's best interests. And we should be very wary of the disingenuous pablum about the costs. The courts will find a way to stick it to the practitioner. Lake County is a VERY good example of this rapaciousness. Any one who does not believe this is invited to review the various special fees that system imposes upon practitioners- as practitioners- and upon each case ON TOP of the court costs normal in every case manually filed. Jurisprudence according to Aldous Huxley.

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