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Convicted Richmond Hill killer Mark Leonard found guilty in murder-for-hire plot

Posted at 10:11 PM, Jan 31, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-01 02:50:04-05

INDIANAPOLIS -- Convicted Richmond Hill killer Mark Ray Leonard has been found guilty of trying to hire a hitman to kill a key witness in his trial from 2015. 

Leonard was arrested in December of 2012, along with his brother, Leonard Jr., and then-girlfriend, Monserrate Shirley, in connection with a deadly explosion on the south side of Indianapolis. Two people were killed in the explosion.

Prosecutors say Leonard tried to hire a hitman from jail, to kill Mark Duckworth, a key witness in the Richmond Hill explosion case. He allegedly tried to set up the hit through phone calls to an undercover federal agent. Recordings of those calls were played at his trial. 

RELATED | Mark Leonard back in court for trying to hire hitman to kill Richmond Hill witness

Leonard is already serving two consecutive life sentences for the Richmond Hill explosion. He is appealing that conviction.

On Tuesday, a judge found Leonard guilty of conspiracy to commit murder in the murder-fire-hire case. He will be sentenced for that charge on February 8.

Leonard faces up to an additional 50 years for that conviction. 

RELATED | Richmond Hill: Mark Leonard sentenced to life without parole | Richmond Hill explosion suspect reaches deal with prosecutors |  Monserrate Shirley, Mark Leonard plead for privacy after 'nightmare' of Indianapolis explosion