INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (March 19, 2014)– Separate trials for suspects accused of planning and executing an explosion from inside a home in a south side neighborhood will not be happening this June as previously scheduled.
The pretrial originally scheduled for this Friday will also not be happening, according to Mark Leonard’s attorney Deana Martin. No new trial dates have been scheduled either.
Homeowner Moncy Shirley, her boyfriend Mark Leonard and his brother Bob have been charged in connection to the explosion. They have denied any wrongdoing.
The suspects are each charged with more than 50 counts of arson and two counts of murder in connection with a Nov. 10, 2012 home explosion. The incident killed Jennifer and Dion Longworth and left dozens of others homeless in the south side neighborhood.
Earlier this month, the attorney for Mark Leonard said she still hasn’t received forensic evidence from the prosecutor’s office. Bob Leonard’s attorney also said trial preparation is lagging.
Both want a 2015 trial date that’s more realistic. The Marion County Prosecutor’s Office suggests moving the trial back to late summer.
Prosecutors have argued that separate trials for the suspects would be costly and take nearly a year to conclude. Deputy Prosecutor Denise Robinson said concurrent trials could last two months, but separate trials could last six weeks apiece.
Neighbors said while they expected to have trial delays, they hope this won’t drag on even more.
“I would just hate to think that we would have to go through a two-year anniversary and not have the trials start,” said Doug Aldridge. “The people who have to testify, the people on the subpoena list, they’ve had to put their lives on hold to wait to see what happens in trial. They’ve had to put their vacations on hold. Every time something like this comes up, it just pushes it farther and farther back.”