Explanation of Bob Leonard’s charges in second Richmond Hill explosion trial
FORT WAYNE, Ind. (February 23, 2016) – Bob Leonard was found guilty of all 51 charges for his alleged involvement in the 2012 Richmond Hill explosion. Two neighbors, Jennifer and Dion Longworth, were killed in the blast. More than 80 homes were damaged or destroyed with losses pegged in excess of $4 million in what prosecutors have charged was an insurance fraud plot.
In this particular case, all of the charges for Monserrate Shirley, Mark Leonard, and Bob Leonard are laid out the same way since they allegedly conspired together. But Bob Leonard doesn’t face all of the charges that Shirley and Mark Leonard face. You will notice this in the list below due to the fact that there are several missing numbers in the list of counts.
Counts 1-2: Felony murder – GUILTY
- Bob Leonard is being charged with one count for Dion Longworth and one count for Jennifer Longworth.
- Felony murder is defined as killing someone while committing a felony. In Leonard’s case, the felony was arson. Prosecutors don’t need to prove that Leonard intentionally killed Dion and Jennifer Longworth; the state just needs to prove that they were killed as a result of the felony Leonard committed.
Count 3: Conspiracy to commit arson – GUILTY
- The state needs to prove that Leonard conspired with Monserrate Shirley and Mark Leonard to blow up Shirley’s house.
- According to Deputy Prosecutor Denise Robinson, this is the heart of the conspiracy. If Bob Leonard is found guilty of any participation in the planning and execution of the explosion, even if he wasn’t at Shirley’s house that day, he’s guilty of murder.
Counts 5-16: Arson, class A felony – GUILTY
- Arson as a class A felony is arson causing bodily injury.
- As a result of the blast, residents in the neighborhood were injured. The injuries included a broken finger, lacerations, puncture wounds, contusion to head, smoke inhalation, and scratches.
Counts 17-49: Arson, class B felony – GUILTY
- Arson as a class B felony is arson resulting in property damage.
- Each count describes every single home that was destroyed as a result of the blast. Prosecutor Mark Hollingsworth said in his closing argument that even though some of the homes did not appear destroyed on the outside, the blast caused them to lift off of their foundations. As a result, those homes had to be leveled.
- “Arson is arson, even if you only intended to burn one house,” said Prosecutor Mark Hollingsworth.
- The victim in Count 49 is Bank of America because Bank of America insured Monserrate Shirley’s house.
Count 50: Arson, class B felony – GUILTY
- Arson as a class B felony is arson causing property damage. This single charge encompasses all of the homes that were damaged but not destroyed in the explosion.
Count 53-54: Capital murder – GUILTY
- There is one charge for Dion Longworth and one charge for Jennifer Longworth.
- These murder charges are different than the felony murder charges (Counts 1 and 2).
- Capital murder is intentionally or knowingly committing murder by the results of one’s actions. The state does not need to prove that Leonard intentionally killed Dion and Jennifer Longworth in order for the jury to find him guilty of this charge. Prosecutors need to prove that Leonard knowingly committed arson, and by doing so, he knew there was a high probability someone would get killed.