Prosecutor will not seek death penalty in Richmond Hill explosion

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INDIANAPOLIS – Three people charged in connection with the Nov. 10 explosion in the Richmond Hill neighborhood will not face the death penalty.

Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry said he would request life in prison without parole for Monserrate Shirley, Mark Leonard and Bob Leonard, Jr.

The suspects face two counts of murder in addition to charges of arson and conspiracy.

Prosecutors said the three plotted to blow up Shirley’s home at 8349 Fieldfare Way in a bid to collect insurance money. Jennifer and Dion Longworth died in the blast, which also destroyed or damaged dozens of homes.

“This decision was arrived at after thoughtful consideration in accordance with our procedure in potential capital cases,” Curry said. “The intentional acts of the defendants, as alleged, were undertaken with no regard whatsoever to the tragic consequences which did in fact flow from a scheme to blow up the Shirley residence. Those alleged acts, if proven, thus justify that the defendants spend life in prison with no option for parole.”

A request for life without parole requires aggravating circumstances. According to Curry, those aggravating factors include the unlawful detonation of an explosive device, multiple deaths and that Dion Longworth died as a result of direct contact with the fire that resulted from the blast.

moncy shirley richmond hill explosion

Moncy Shirley, Mark Leonard, and Bob Leonard, Jr.

Shirley and the Leonards face charges of conspiracy to commit arson, 12 counts of arson (class A) and 33 counts of arson (class B).

All three defendants will face another count of arson (class B) for damage to Richmond Hill homes that did not need to be demolished.

Shirley will face an additional charge of insurance fraud. She and Mark Leonard will also face a count of conspiracy to commit insurance fraud, the prosecutor said.

Mark Leonard will face another conspiracy to commit insurance fraud charge unrelated to the explosion. Curry said Leonard and David Gill submitted a claim for a stolen motorcycle. It was later determined that the pair had disassembled the motorcycle.

The Richmond Hill suspects are due in court Feb. 21 for a pretrial conference.

8 comments

  • Richard

    We ALL need to remember this when its time for Curry to be re-elected. It is obvious that he does not have the intestinal fortitude to do his job correctly.We elected him to prosecute criminals. He has shown time and time again that he does not have what it takes..This was an intentional act,well thought out and deliberate..so what is the problem?

    Grow a pair Curry!

    People are dead, lives and been destroyed and Curry is WIMPING out..remember this when its time to elect a new prosecutor

    • ClanSmokeJaguar

      The problem, Richard, is this is not a first degree murder case. The perps, though highly unintelligent, did not set out to murder people and create this level of chaos.

      To you and me, that should not make a difference. To the law, which Curry must operate, it does.

      If Curry needs to grow a pair, you need to pick up a book and fill your brain just as bad.

      • Cory

        Sorry to bust your second year law student bubble, but Curry did have the option to ask for the death penalty. The facts do fit the guidelines.However,Mr. Curry does not believe in the death penalty, a fact that he didn't share with us in the election. Mr. Curry could have gone for it,he just does not want to go against his liberal big money backers in the next election

  • ClanSmokeJaguar

    I still can't get over the level of stupidty of these people from before the explosion, the day it happened, and after.

    I'll never forget Fox59 airing the interview with the woman and her fake contrived tears! "I ain't got no financial problems", she said! LOL!!! She does now plus a host of other problems.

    The guys were just as stupid especially after the blast…trying to hide personal belongings that should've been in the house, blabbing to everyone about the loot they expected!

    Life in prison or at length a sentence so long when they get out they'll have forgotten what unfiltered sun light looks like is appropriate.

  • kathy t

    better yet…find a field with an old barn let the 3 of them be in it and then detonate it so it blows up….at least that way we wont have to pay the price for them sitting in prison for their entires lives..it would be quick and over with in a short time period…

  • test

    I’ve been recently wondering about the very same issue personally recently. Delighted to see another person on the same wavelength! Nice article.

  • Southsider

    what comes around, goes around!! and these 3 deserve what they got and more. shirley and 2 leonards should be blown up FROM THE INSIDE OUT, BLOWN TO NOTHING SO THAT THERE IS NOT ANY KIND OF SHRED OF HUMAN FLESH TO BURY. I JUST HATE THAT WE TAXPAYERS WILL BE PAYING FOR THEIR LIVES IN PRISON. MAY THEIR SOULS ROT IN HELL!!!

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