Judge denies defense motions for Indy house blast suspect

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The defense of a suspect in a 2012 Indianapolis house explosion that killed two people and damaged dozens of homes has been dealt a setback after a judge denied two of its motions.

St. Joseph Superior Judge John Marnocha denied a motion by Mark Leonard to stipulate to the injuries and property damages of prosecution witnesses to limit their testimony in the trial.

Marnocha on Monday also denied a defense request to try the case in two parts, with prosecutors forced to prove through scientific evidence and beyond a reasonable doubt that arson caused the blast. Only then would prosecutors be allowed to present evidence proving Leonard’s guilt.

Leonard’s trial was moved to South Bend because of pretrial publicity in central Indiana. His trial is due to begin June 6.

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