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First trial for suspect in 2012 south side explosion set for 2015

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Mark Leonard (file photo)

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (September 8, 2014)– A St. Joseph County judge has set the trial date for one suspect in the 2012 south side explosion case.

Court documents show that Mark Leonard’s trial will begin in June 2015.

Leonard, his half-brother Bob and his girlfriend Moncy Shirley are accused of blowing up her home in an insurance fraud scheme. The trio are accused of murder, arson and insurance fraud.  Investigators claim Leonard planned the blast.

In August, Deputy Prosecutor Denise Robinson told the court that while there had been extensive pre-trial media coverage, a test jury pool revealed that many potential jurors had personally witnessed the explosion that killed two people and rocked a south side neighborhood in November 2012. The trial was moved from Marion County to South Bend.

Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry estimates it will cost more than $700,000 to take Leonard’s trial to South Bend.