State files response after Mark Leonard appeals Richmond Hill sentence

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Mark Leonard

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.– The State of Indiana has filed a 66-page response to Mark Leonard’s appeal of his life without parole sentence for the Richmond Hill case.

Last summer, Leonard was found guilty on 53 counts of planning and carrying out the south side insurance fraud explosion which killed two people and caused four million dollars worth of damage in 2012.

He was sentenced to two terms of life without parole, plus an additional 75 years.

Leonard argued that the trial judge should never have allowed testimony that he tried to have a witness killed, that he didn’t know his neighbors Dion and Jennifer Longworth would die in the blast, and the State didn’t prove that Dion was burned alive.

In its response, the attorney general argues that the murder for hire plot evidence doesn’t change the jury’s verdict on the murder convictions, that Leonard should have known the effects of a natural gas explosion would not stop at his neighbors’ property lines, and he should have known that there was a high probability that the resulting fire would kill someone.

Leonard is serving his term at the Indiana State Prison in Michigan City.

His brother Bob Leonard Jr., was convicted and sentenced on the same charges earlier this year.

A third accused conspirator, Gary Thompson, has a hearing next month on a motion to move his case out of Marion County.