Justices hear arguments in Richmond HIll explosion appeal

The lawyer for a man convicted in a deadly Indianapolis house explosion said he never expected anyone to die in the blast.

The Indiana Supreme Court heard arguments Thursday in 58-year-old Bob Leonard’s appeal of his murder and arson convictions.

The November 2012 natural gas explosion occurred at a south side Indianapolis house owned by his half-brother Mark Leonard’s then-girlfriend, Monserrate Shirley. Prosecutors allege the trio planned to damage the house as part of an insurance fraud scheme. But the blast killed two neighbors and damaged or destroyed dozens of homes in the Richmond Hill neighborhood.

Defense attorney Andrew Borland argued the jury should have been told they could convict Leonard of reckless homicide instead of murder.

WISH-TV reported a prosecutor argued there was nothing reckless about Leonard’s role and he knew there was a high probability someone could die.

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