Richmond Hill explosion suspects’ future uncertain

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (November 10, 2013) – The three Richmond Hill explosion suspects are bound together by conspiracy and murder charges.

Two of them, boyfriend and girlfriend, Mark Leonard and Monseratte Shirley, don’t want to be tried together and have successfully petitioned for separate trials.

Mark’s half-brother, Bob Leonard, has no idea who he’ll be tried alongside or when.

“Clearly we were looking at a lengthy trial to begin with and so certainly we don’t look forward to the possibly of doing it three times,” Prosecutor Terry Curry said. “But, if that’s what we have to do, we’ll do it.”

Shirley claims it was Leonard’s idea to blow up her house to get her out of debt and she was an emotionally manipulated woman who didn’t know any better.

Abby Jackson, a friend of Shirley’s, says “she told me Mark was taking care of them and Mark was taking care of her and she was good and money was good.  She never would have admitted any of that.”

Mark Leonard wanted a separate trial because he said his defense will include blaming Monserrate Shirley for the conspiracy.

“To the extent that the existence of the conspiracy charge that allows us to bring in things that were stated of said by each of the defendants that could come in a single trial or all three trials,” Curry said.

Shirley is represented by noted defense attorney Jim Voyles, who is known for plea bargaining his clients in tough cases.