Judge grants change of venue for Richmond Hill house explosion suspect

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Monserrate Shirley

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INDIANAPOLIS (Dec. 11, 2014) – A judge granted a change of venue for one of the suspects in the November 2012 explosion on the south side.

Monserrate Shirley, the woman who owned the house that blew up two years ago has convinced a judge to move her trial to another Indiana county in a court hearing Thursday.

Shirley has claimed she was under boyfriend Mark Leonard’s persuasion when her house was destroyed in a what investigators call a fatal insurance fraud scheme. Two people died and dozens of homes were damaged or destroyed.

Shirley, Leonard and his brother, Bob Leonard, are accused of blowing up a home in a scheme to collect insurance money.

Shirley may or may not testify against her former boyfriend at his trial, and might take a plea bargain instead of taking her chances with a jury.

No trial dates have been set for Shirley. Mark Leonard’s trial is set for June 2015 in St. Joseph County.

PHOTOS: Richmond Hill explosion

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