Shirley filed insurance claim two days after deadly blast, prosecutors allege

Moncy Shirley left the courtroom and headed back to the Marion County Jail in tears Wednesday afternoon.

She, along with suspects Mark Leonard and Bob Leonard, now face additional charges.

Prosecutors allege the three caused November’s deadly explosion in the Richmond Hill subdivision on the city’s south side.

Marion County Deputy Prosecutor Denise Robinson said what happened in the courtroom Wednesday was expected.

“The additional counts were added, the defendants had their initial hearings on the life without parol and we’re set to come back April 10 and get this case set for trial,” said Robinson.

All three suspects now face an additional charge of arson for damage to homes in the subdivision that were not demolished.

Shirley and Mark Leonard also face an additional charge of conspiracy to commit insurance fraud and Shirley alone faces an additional charge of insurance fraud.

Prosecutors believe Shirley filed an insurance claim two days after the explosion to collect money on her damaged home.

“Our allegation is that it goes with the intent to defraud the insurance company, that it’s part of the motive for this crime,” said Robinson.

The defendants are also requesting separate trials.

“It’s a lengthier process, certainly, that means bringing witnesses back, but legally speaking there are issues both ways, so we’ll be prepared to deal with them,” said Robinson.

Robinson said because of the sheer volume of the case– tens of thousands of documents and a crime scene that affected an entire neighborhood, she doesn’t believe the trial will begin anytime soon.

“I think it will be in to early 2014, although if defense council is ready, we’ll be ready, but I think realistically speaking we’re looking at an early 2014 date.”

Robinson said the suspects acted together and they should be tried together.

It will be at least a month before the judge makes a decision. The suspects will be back in court April 10. If convicted, the suspects face life in prison without parole.

6 comments

  • Brenda

    We will still be reading about this case four years from now.Lots of maneuvering and shucking and jiving. Let pray that Curry didn't mess this one up like he did the Bisard case.

  • Brian

    Three hots and a cot for life. I don't see what they are complaining about. It should be an eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth but they got off so far on the better side of the situation.

  • Normansboss

    I don't believe Curry was even elected until Nov 2012, and Bisard hasn't even gone to trial yet. Curry and his team seem to be doing good for Marion County. I hope they send these 3 up the creek and take Bisard with them.

  • John Browning

    Seriously some of the dumbest people I have ever seen. While listening to the press conference months ago when they released the probable cause affidavit, each sentence continued to surprise me that anyone could be stupid enough to think they would get away with this.

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