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Indiana Supreme Court upholds Bob Leonard's life sentence in Richmond Hill Explosion case

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Posted at 2:22 PM, Aug 10, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-10 14:22:53-04

INDIANAPOLIS -- The Indiana Supreme Court upheld the life sentence for one of the Richmond Hill Explosion co-conspirators on Thursday for many of the same reasons it rejected his brother’s appeal.

Bob Leonard Jr. was sentenced to life without parole in March 2016 for his part in the conspiracy to blow up a house in the Richmond Hill neighborhood on the south side of Indianapolis in 2012.

Leonard, his brother Mark Leonard and the home’s owner, Mark Leonard’s then-girlfriend Monserrate Shirley, were all charged with dozens of counts of arson, insurance fraud and murder in the case. The explosion damaged nearly 100 homes in the area and killed Shirley’s neighbors, Dion and Jennifer Longworth.

SPECIAL SECTION | The Richmond Hill Explosion Trials

The Leonard brothers received two consecutive life sentences without parole each. Shirley was sentenced to 50 years in prison after agreeing to testify against her co-conspirators.

Two other suspects in the case, Gary Thompson and Glenn Hults, received 20 and three years in prison, respectively.

Both Leonards appealed their sentences in part on grounds that the state’s life without parole statute is unconstitutional. In both cases, the Indiana Supreme Court rejected that argument.

The Leonards are currently serving their life sentences at the Wabash Valley Correctional Facility in Carlisle, Indiana. Shirley is serving her sentence at the Indiana Women’s Prison in Indianapolis. Her earliest possible release date is December 2037.

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