Gary Thompson sentenced in Richmond Hill explosion after pleading guilty to arson charge
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.— And then there were two.
Gary Thompson, one of five co-conspirators responsible for the Richmond Hill explosion, was handed a 30-year prison sentence, 20 years executed, for his role in the murderous insurance fraud scheme that rocked a southside neighborhood.
Two people died, 80 homes were damaged and losses were pegged at $4 million from the plot to destroy Monserrate Shirley’s house in a 2012 natural gas explosion.
Shirley and Glenn Hults have both pleaded guilty and will be sentenced later this month.
Thompson pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit arson and expressed remorse before Judge Shelia Carlisle, admitting he did nothing to head off the plot once he became involved.
Judge Carlisle termed the explosion, “a significant crime,” and strongly admonished Thompson that should his commitment to the court fall short, she would not hesitate to revoke his two years probation and reinstitute the ten years of the suspended sentence.
Thompson received credit for 675 days incarceration which would make him eligible for parole after serving another eight years in prison.
Judge Carlisle also confirmed restitution to the victims should Thompson receive any large sums of money in the future.
Thompson’s sentence, and the Court’s hardline comments, could be read as indicators of the reception Shirley can expect to receive when she appears before Judge Carlisle December 19 & 20th.
During that sentencing hearing, the state is expected to argue that aggravators including the deaths of neighbors Dion and Jennifer Longworth, the widespread damage and the two initial failed plots before the November 10, 2012, blast, call for a maximum 50-year sentence on a conspiracy to commit arson charge.
Prosecutors expect that the defense will call a mental health expert to the stand to attest to Shirley’s alleged domination by Mark Leonard.