Many Richmond Hill residents support life without parole

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Victims of the south side disaster sounded off, Monday, after finding out the Marion County prosecutor will not seek the death penalty for the three people charged in the deadly explosion at Richmond Hill.

The blast killed Dion and Jennifer Longworth who lived next to the home of Moncey Shirley, now charged in the case.

Residents met with officials at the Southport Presbyterian Church, Monday evening, to discuss why Prosecutor Terry Curry will go after life without parole instead of seeking the death penalty.

“Everyone was pretty receptive to what was stated,” said Chief of Homeland Security Gary Coons.

Fox 59 learned prosecutors went with life without parole, because there would not be enough proof to show that the suspects intended to kill anyone.

Several residents said they agreed.

“I’m pleased with that. I really am. I don’t feel like they intentionally planned on killing the couple,” said Richmond Hill resident Doris Jarnagin. “I think let’em sit there for as long as they can possibly sit there. I prefer that they never get paroled it affected a lot of lives.”

“I think we all have our own opinions but I think life without parole is adequate,” said another resident Matt Lennon as he left the meeting.

Residents also spoke about the next steps in the recovery process. Lennon said people are just trying to move on, but it will take time.

“We’re not going to forget but you know we’re a pretty close knit community and a neighborhood and we’re pretty resilient,” he said.


  • IndyResident

    This is an example of a Prosecutor who is scared to perform his duty! There is no "intent" in the law. The law is clear: a person who commits arson resulting in multiple deaths is subject to The Death Penalty!

    The evil-doers clearly committed the elements of the offense. The prosecutor is weak. I wonder if The Prosecutor's children lived in that home and 2 people died, if the soft, liberal choice would be the same?

    • DRT52

      Not actually correct. Arson is included as an aggravating circumstance but the words "intentionally killing" are part of the statute.

      (b) The aggravating circumstances are as follows: (1) The defendant committed the murder by intentionally killing the victim while committing or attempting to commit any of the following:

      (A) Arson (IC 35-43-1-1).

      (B) Burglary (IC 35-43-2-1).

      (C) Child molesting (IC 35-42-4-3).

      (D) Criminal deviate conduct (IC 35-42-4-2).

      (E) Kidnapping (IC 35-42-3-2).

      (F) Rape (IC 35-42-4-1).

      (G) Robbery (IC 35-42-5-1).

      (H) Carjacking (IC 35-42-5-2).

      (I) Criminal Gang Activity (IC 35-45-9-3).

      (J) Dealing in cocaine or a narcotic drug (IC 35-48-4-1).

  • Marine57

    "Many Richmond Hill residents support life without parole"
    If there is some reason the death penalty cannot be put on the table, I would support at least life without parole too … and I'm not even a Richmond Hill resident.

  • cjmo

    Death penalty cases are hard to get a guilty verdict, because many people don't want to live with the knowledge that they voted to kill people. There are some people who've been found guilty, the death penalty is carried out, and DNA exonerated them. I doubt that's the case here, but if they can't prove intent to kill, these losers could walk, unless the jury is given the life without parole option. Too many killers have been put back on the street because the jury refused to convict because of the death penalty. I'd rather see these people die for what they did, but they can at least die in prison

  • melissa

    I still can’t believe this happened and I can’t help but wonder and worry about Moncy.Shirley’s young daughter.

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