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Three Charged With Murder After Home Explosion

Prosecutor Terry Curry calls it a plot for more than $300,000 in insurance money.

Home Explosion

Photo: Courtesy: Marion County Prosecuter's Office

Monserrate Shirley (right), Mark Leonard (left), and Robert Leonard (not pictured) are charged with multiple felony and arson charges. The death penalty could be sought by the prosecution.

Indianapolis Metro Police have three people in custody following that deadly house explosion in the Richmond Hill subdivision.

Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry calls it a plot for more than $300,000 dollars in insurance money. Curry says authorities arrested Monseratte Shirley, boyfriend Mark Leonard and his brother Bob Leonard Jr. Friday morning.

Curry says this follows a failed attempt to blow up Shirley‘s home a week before they finally succeeded on November 10th.

Curry says a neighbor spotted two men in a white van at the home prior to the blast. He says at least one of the men matches the description of one of the brothers. Curry says they believe another suspect remains at large.

In a nutshell, Curry says the trio put a microwave inside the house on 8349 Fieldfare Way on a timer, removed a gas line regulator and rigged the fireplace. He says Mark Leonard also changed the thermostat in the house from a digital thermostat to a slide switch thermostat knowing that a slide switch thermostat would create a spark when activated.

The blast killed two people, wounded dozens of others and damages more than 80 homes in the subdivision.

“Unfortunately, way too often, innocent folks end up being victimized based on violent senseless acts and so all we can do is to devote our best efforts to seeing that justice is done and so this is step one” he says.

Curry says none of those arrested have admitted to wrongdoing, but they face felony murder and dozens of felony arson charges.

Shirley and Leonard‘s attorney Randall Cable doesn‘t agree with Curry‘s findings.

“I‘ve expected them to do something because from the get go they wanted somebody to be responsible and a lot of what I heard at the press conference was speculation and opinion,” Cable says.

He says authorities needed to pin the incident on someone and as a result, pointed out his clients.

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