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Southside explosion suspect wants trial moved outside Marion County

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INDIANAPOLIS – The woman charged in the Richmond Hill blast that killed two people wants her trial moved outside Marion County.

James Voyles, defense attorney for Monserrate Shirley, filed a motion Thursday morning for a change of venue.

Shirley, boyfriend Mark Leonard and his brother Bob Leonard were charged in December with two counts of murder and multiple counts of arson in connection with the Nov. 10 explosion that destroyed more than 30 homes in the southside Richmond Hill subdivision. Dion and Jennifer Longworth died as a result of the blast.

Prosecutors said the explosion was the result of a scam to collect insurance money.

Earlier this month, Shirley hired Voyles to represent her. A high-powered defense attorney who’s well known in the Indianapolis area, Voyles previously defended Mike Tyson and former police officer and City-County Councilman Lincoln Plowman. Mark and Bob Leonard have been assigned public defenders.

All three are scheduled for a Feb. 21 pretrial hearing, with a jury trial scheduled for March 4.


  • Linda Bailey

    Just wondering how someone who was in fore closure process on her home can now afford well know trial attorney when her significant other and his brother have public defenders. Report says she “hired” the well known attorney, not that he was representing her pro bono.

    • zuladiene

      Why don't you ask better if she have family? Because she have it., and we all love her and believe in her innocence. Because everyone talks, but nobody cares about her mother the one that is suffering al this odyssie. We pray for her because God is going to make justice for her. Everyone talks but no one knows how hard is this for us , her family. A family of faith, a clos knitt family. God bless you all

  • DRT52

    Wondering the same thing. I know someone who had hired Voyles and his rates are extremely high. Maybe he'll work out a plea agreement whereby she testifies against the other two.

  • Rita

    Does anybody know who the fourth person is that police are searching for? Is it Dave Gill or someone else? I really wonder what the hold up in on the final arrest.

  • safety guy

    What kind of crap sack attorney would defend her? same with the Aurora shooter and the lady suing Kroger for her son getting shot trying to rob the place. If we let criminals know they WILL go to jail they might think about trying to get away with it.

  • joe-joe2

    How interesting that she can afford a high powered attorney. She'll get many years behind bars whatever attorney takes her and irrespective of what "venue" they choose.
    What a POS.

  • Justice For All

    The best place is the Richmond Hill Community Clubhouse. Let it be close so those affected can attend!

  • Tyron shoe laces

    Don't kid yourself. Voyles loves these high profile cases. Gets his name in the media and face on TV. Can't buy this kind of advertising. Uhhh yeah maybe you can. My bet is she's paying very little. He is using her and chewing up our tax dollars.
    Leech. Bottom feeder, turd bugler what ever you want to call them. Or just Lawyer.

  • Guisseppe

    That nasty piece of garbage. Of course she wants it moved! There should be no way possible. Her and the other two should be "corrected," and made to do County time, right here in Marion County, one of the filthiest jail systems in America. That way they'd be sure to get a real taste of how corruption works LOL.

    Wherever they take that nasty skanky frail little crying piece of dirt, FRY HER, for taking two young folks out and obliterating a lot of innocent peoples' homes and lives.

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