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Richmond Hill Suspects Could Face Death Penalty

The three suspects arrested in last month’s explosion of a home on Indianapolis’ south could get the death penalty, according to Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry.

Murder and arson charges were filed against Mark Leonard, Monserrate Shirley and Bob Leonard, Jr. in connection with the Richmond Hill explosion on Nov. 10.  The explosion at Shirley’s residence, 8349 Fieldfare Way, ignited a fire at the home of next-door neighbors John and Jennifer Longworth, causing their deaths.

Mark Leonard, Monserrate Shirley and Bob Leonard, Jr. were arrested this morning.  They are each charged with the following:

·         Felony Murder (two counts)

·         Conspiracy to Commit Arson, Class A Felony (one count)

·         Arson, Class A Felony (12 counts)

·         Arson, Class B Felony (33 counts)

Both Mark Leonard and Monserrate Shirley are each charged with an additional count of Conspiracy to Commit Arson, a Class B Felony.

Curry says because there were multiple deaths the three are eligible for the death penalty under Indiana law, however that decision will not be made for 30 days.

Authorities say insurance fraud was the motive for the explosion.  Investigators discovered the gas had been turned on in the home and the microwave was set to go off several hours later.  It was a spark that caused the explosion, but authorities would not say if it was something in the microwave.

Curry says investigators knew from the first day of the explosion that the microwave was the cause of the incident.

He also says the suspects tried to blow up the house in the same manner the weekend before.

You can hear Curry’s comments below in two parts.  In part one he walks through the probable cause affidavit, in part two, he and Public Safety Director Troy Riggs take questions from the media.

Leon-Tailored Audio:  Richmond Hills Explosion Arrest News Conference – 1 (11 min)

Leon-Tailored Audio:  Richmond Hills Explosion Arrest News Conference – 2 (15 min)

A copy of the probable cause affidavit can be found here.

 

 

  • CircleCityScribe

    I compare this to the evil of Timothy McVey…and hope that after trial and a conviction, the same penalty is reached for all of the participants.

  • stimy

    Maybe Abdul can explain this to me. It’s my understanding that they are charged with felony murder. And that to receive the death penalty they would have to have committed murder with intent with the aggravating circumstances.

  • http://www.facebook.com/AttyAbdul Abdul-Hakim Shabazz

    One of the aggravating circumstances was the multiple deaths.

  • AWB

    The stupidity of these people is amazing! It was only a matter of time before they hurt or killed someone. I have no doubt they did not intend the house to explode like that but the sheer and egregious lack of intelligence with this pair allowed for the three-stooges like plot that led to the massive explosion.

    I think their stupidity needs to be charged and punished too. Charge them with felony “stupidity” and misdemeanor “attempts at intelligence”

  • AWB

    The stupidity of these people is amazing! It was only a matter of time before they hurt or killed someone. I have no doubt they did not intend the house to explode like that but the sheer and egregious lack of intelligence with this pair allowed for the three-stooges like plot that led to the massive explosion.

    I think their stupidity needs to be charged and punished too. Charge them with felony “stupidity” and misdemeanor “attempts at intelligence”

  • AWB

    That’s a reach. McVey (and his accomplices in distant lands) intended to inflict as much harm as possible. All these morons sought was a fire and a check.

    Though their behavior after they learned of the deaths and destruction was incredible! Records show after the incident they were still plotting on how to divide up the insurance check.

  • stimy

    I uderstand the aggravating circumstances. My issue is he intent to commit murder.