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.



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