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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. Your article is a good intro the recent amendments to Fed.R.Civ.P. For a much longer - though not necessarily better -- summary, counsel might want to read THE CHIEF UMPIRE IS CHANGING THE STRIKE ZONE, which I co-authored and which was just published in the January issue of THE VERDICT (the monthly publication of the Indiana Trial Lawyers Association).

  2. Thank you, John Smith, for pointing out a needed correction. The article has been revised.

  3. The "National institute for Justice" is an agency for the Dept of Justice. That is not the law firm you are talking about in this article. The "institute for justice" is a public interest law firm. http://ij.org/ thanks for interesting article however

  4. I would like to try to find a lawyer as soon possible I've had my money stolen off of my bank card driver pressed charges and I try to get the information they need it and a Social Security board is just give me a hold up a run around for no reason and now it think it might be too late cuz its been over a year I believe and I can't get the right information they need because they keep giving me the runaroundwhat should I do about that

  5. It is wonderful that Indiana DOC is making some truly admirable and positive changes. People with serious mental illness, intellectual disability or developmental disability will benefit from these changes. It will be much better if people can get some help and resources that promote their health and growth than if they suffer alone. If people experience positive growth or healing of their health issues, they may be less likely to do the things that caused them to come to prison in the first place. This will be of benefit for everyone. I am also so happy that Indiana DOC added correctional personnel and mental health staffing. These are tough issues to work with. There should be adequate staffing in prisons so correctional officers and other staff are able to do the kind of work they really want to do-helping people grow and change-rather than just trying to manage chaos. Correctional officers and other staff deserve this. It would be great to see increased mental health services and services for people with intellectual or developmental disabilities in the community so that fewer people will have to receive help and support in prisons. Community services would like be less expensive, inherently less demeaning and just a whole lot better for everyone.

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