INDIANAPOLIS – The Richmond Hill blast suspect accused of orchestrating a murder-for-hire plot from jail has entered a not guilty plea.
The plea was entered for Mark Leonard during a court appearance Wednesday morning. He’s charged with conspiracy to commit murder after prosecutors said he offered to pay a hit man $15,000 to kill a witness.
Last week, Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry revealed the new charge against Leonard, who’s also charged in the house explosion the ripped through the Richmond Hill neighborhood in November 2012, killing two people. According to prosecutors, Leonard wanted to kill a witness—identified in court documents as “M.D.”—by hiring a hit man.
Leonard tried to orchestrate the hit from jail, but the “hit man” was an undercover investigator. Leonard told the investigator that killing “M.D.” would effectively end his case and let him walk out of jail. The investigator confirmed the deal through recorded phone calls. Investigators also recovered a document signed by Leonard confirming the payment of $15,000 upon his release from jail.
Leonard already faces several charges in connection with the November 2012 explosion that killed Jennifer and Dion Longworth in the Richmond Hill neighborhood. Investigators said it was a plot to destroy a home and collect insurance money. Leonard’s girlfriend Moncy Shirley and his half-brother Bob Leonard are also charged with murder and arson in the case.