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Northern Indiana woman gets probation for home explosion

January 6, 2016

A northern Indiana woman whom authorities say caused an explosion that heavily damaged her house has been sentenced to nine years on probation after pleading guilty but mentally ill to three counts of arson resulting in bodily injury.

St. Joseph Superior Judge John Marnocha on Wednesday sentenced 51-year-old Michelle Ellenberger of Granger to three years in prison on each count, but suspended the sentences and placed her on probation. She had pleaded guilty in November to the June 19 explosion that injured her daughter, her daughter's boyfriend and a police officer at her home northeast of South Bend.

According to court documents, Ellenberger was attempting to kill herself. Defense attorney Michael Tuszynski says the suicide attempt could have been a side effect to a medication she was taking.

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