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