The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Breaking News

March 28, 2013

Indy blast suspect charged in plot to kill witness

INDIANAPOLIS — An Indianapolis man facing trial in a house explosion that killed two people and damaged or destroyed dozens of homes was charged Thursday with plotting to have a witness in the case killed.

Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry announced Mark Leonard had been charged with one count of conspiracy to commit murder during a news conference in downtown Indianapolis.

Curry said Leonard tried to arrange to have the witness killed for a payment of $15,000. Curry said Leonard also offered a $5,000 bonus if the killing was made to look like a suicide and if the killer could force the witness to first call 911 and recant statements about the explosion.

Leonard, girlfriend Monserrate Shirley and brother Bob Leonard are awaiting trial in the Nov. 10 blast that killed a teacher and her husband, and left 33 homes in the Richmond Hill subdivision so damaged that they had to be demolished.

Investigators say the trio intentionally created a gas explosion in Shirley's home in hopes of collecting insurance money. A microwave set to start on a timer sparked the explosion in Shirley's gas-filled home after a gas fireplace valve and a gas line regulator in the house were removed.

John and Jennifer Longworth died after the explosion ignited another explosion and resulting fire at their house.

All three defendants face murder, arson and conspiracy charges. Shirley also is charged with insurance fraud.

Curry said in February he would see life without parole for Shirley and the Leonards because a jury was unlikely to choose the death penalty.

 

1
Text Only
Breaking News
Featured Ads
More Resources from The Herald Bulletin
AP Video
Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground Ohio State Marching Band Chief Fired After Probe Raw: Big Rig Stuck in Illinois Swamp
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Helium debate
Helium
Front page
Poll

About 70 houses in the city will be demolished with a federal loan initiative administered by the state. How many more houses in the city do you think need to be razed?

At least 70 more
200 to 500 more
1,000
None
     View Results