Indianapolis house blast convict says informant set him up

An Indianapolis man convicted on 53 counts in a house explosion that killed two people and devastated the southside Richmond Hill neighborhood said testimony from a jailhouse informant and undercover officer saying he tried to have a key witness killed never should have been presented at his trial.

Mark Leonard testified Friday in Indianapolis he was set up by the informant, and his attorney wasn’t present for questioning by the officer posing as a hit man.

Leonard also argues in an appeal filed this week that the state never proved he killed Dion and Jennifer Longworth in the explosion. They were neighbors of Leonard’s former girlfriend, Monserrate Shirley.

Leonard also is appealing his two life sentences without parole on grounds they’re unconstitutional. Leonard was sentenced to the two life terms plus 75 years.

Bob Leonard, a half brother of Mark Leonard, was sentenced to life in prison in March for his role in the blast. Shirley accepted a plea deal in exchange for testifying against her ex-boyfriend.

 

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