Explosion suspects get separate trials

October 17, 2013

The suspects in last year’s deadly explosion on the southeast side of Indianapolis can have separate trials, a judge ruled Thursday. The lawyers for defendants Monserrate Shirley and Mark Leonard requested separate trials because they are expected to mount different defense strategies. A third suspect—Leonard’s half-brother Bob Leonard—did not request a separate trial. Prosecutors wanted the three to be tried together, claiming they worked as a team to blow up Shirley’s house and collect insurance money. The explosion killed two people and damaged 86 houses in the Richmond Hill neighborhood.