Indianapolis News and Headlines


LIVE BLOG: Richmond Hill Trial Day 15

Posted at 1:03 PM, Feb 16, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-16 17:42:25-05


9:00 a.m. – IMPD Det. Sgt. Jeff Wager recalled as witness by the prosecution.

Wager says a friend of Mark Leonard's, and possible suspect, Dave Gill, was determined to have been in Greensburg and Pendleton during the weekend of the explosion.

Wager says he received a letter from an inmate named Jeremy Bullock who shared a cell area with Bob Leonard. Wager interviewed Bullock about statements he says Bob Leonard made on Nov. 6, 2014.

Wager received information from an Allen County inmate, Tristan Wiegman, on Jan. 28, 2016.

9:42 a.m. – Clyde Evans called as witness by the prosecution.

Evans says he graduated high school with Bob Leonard (Southport High School, class of 1977). Evans says he would describe their relationship as "acquaintances."

Evans says he saw Leonard at a class reunion in September 2012.

Evans: "We were all talking about various things. At one point Bob said he was going to come into a large sum of insurance money soon."

Evans says he knew Mario Garza and mentioned Leonard's statement to him.

9:56 a.m. – Jeremy Bullock called as witness by the prosecution

Bullock says he's currently incarcerated for burglary and attempted carjacking. He's serving an 8-year sentence.

Bullock says he reached a plea agreement unrelated to testifying in this case.

Bullock wrote a letter to his mother to forward to prosecutors office about conversations in jail with Bob Leonard. He says his cell was right next to Leonard's.

Bullock says Leonard gave him the book "Point of Origin" to read. The book is about a guy who burned his house down.

Bullock: "I decided to write the letter after he said some things that were pretty undeniable what he meant by them."

Bullock says Leonard told him about rigging the house to let natural gas in. He also says Leonard drew him a picture of the layout of the house.

Bullock: "We had a couple conversations about the microwave. He said when he was a kid he put a bowl with a metal lid on it in the microwave and it sparked real bad. He said he looked for that same kind of bowl in the failed attempt the week before. He said he put a metal spoon in it."

Bullock: "He was super into these boats. He was finally going to be able to get one, he said."

Bullock: "He said there was a brand new Harley in the garage and a Cadillac. He said they took some items out of the house to sell ahead of time. I know he said he got some golf clubs out of them."

Bullock: "I remember he said there was a fire station less than a mile away. He said he had to make sure the house was totally consumed so they couldn't tell what was inside so they could collect the insurance money."

Bullock: "[Bob] said, 'You wouldn't catch me over there that day. The house was full of gas.' He implied that he sent someone over there on a dummy mission. You know, to be a patsy."

Defense attorney Ted Minch says Bullock could have received up to 28 years in prison for the charges he faced, but got 8-serve-4.

Minch: "This isn't the first time you've gotten up in front of a jury and testified in a criminal matter, is it?" Bullock: "No."

Minch: "Bob Leonard said nothing to you about manipulating the gas line in the house, did he?" Bullock: "No, he just told me where they were."

11:23 a.m. – Sgt. Mark Beatley, Marion County Sheriff's Office Jail Records Division, called as witness by the prosecution.

Beatley says records show Bullock and Leonard were in the same cell block at the same time.

11:33 a.m. – Tristan Wiegman called as witness by the prosecution.

Wiegman says he spent less than 24 hours in the Allen County Jail in September 2015. He was placed into a cell with a "Hispanic guy" and an "old white male" – Bob Leonard.

Wiegman: "When the Hispanic guy was sleeping, the white male said to himself, 'This was supposed to be easy. Nobody was supposed to get hurt. Now I'm in jail.'"

Wiegman says he saw news coverage of the trial after it started and contacted his attorney.

Wiegman says he's facing a level 3 felony charge with a maximum sentence of 10 years. He says he's "not been aware of or promised" any offer for his testimony.

Defense attorney Mark Inman says level 4 felonies actually carry a maximum sentence of 16 years.

Wiegman says he's "just trying to do the right thing."

11:45 a.m. – Jeff Kroemer, Allen County Police Department Jail Division, called as witness by the prosecution.

Kroemer says jail records show Wiegman and Bob Leonard were in the Allen County jail at the same time.

12:00 p.m. – Court recesses for lunch.

1:15 p.m. – Ben Bierce, IMPD detective in computer and digital forensics unit, called as witness by the prosecution.

Bierce explains how he triangulates cellphone locations based on records from towers.

2:40 p.m. – Tanya Fishburn, Marion County Crime Lab forensic scientist, called as a witness by the prosecution.

Fishburn says her job is DNA analysis for the Crime Lab.

Fishburn begins giving Power Point presentation on DNA and DNA comparison.

Fishburn identifies buccal swabs taken from several suspects in the case.

Fishburn continues describing the process of DNA analysis.

Robinson asks Fishburn about partial DNA profiles. Robinson: "What could cause you to have a partial DNA profile, versus a full profile?" Fishburn: "A partial could be caused by the DNA being degraded. There could also be a low level of DNA present."

Fishburn says blood samples typically provide full profiles, skin samples will often provide only partial profiles. Time and environmental factors affect DNA sample quality.

Fishburn: "The longer DNA is on an item, the more time environmental factors could have an effect on it."

Fisburn says an explosion could "knock the DNA off an item."

Fishburn says DNA from a Crime Lab employee was found to have contaminated some of the samples.

Robinson finishes asking Fishburn about all of the "no result" and "inconclusive" samples.

Fishburn says a DNA match was found for Bob Leonard in a swab taken from the front door of Monserrate Shirley's home.

Bob Leonard's DNA also matched to the door handle of the white van.

Bob Leonard's DNA found on the van's steering wheel, gear shifter and turn signal.

Partial profile of Bob Leonard's DNA found on outside of rear door of van.

3:15 p.m. – David Bolgren, corporate investigator for Menards, called as witness by prosecution.

Bolgren says he was asked to pull video of the Leonards buying a thermostat at a southside Menards.

Jurors see the video.

4:07 p.m. – Art Kirkpatrick called as witness by the prosecution.

Kirkpatrick says he is a retired Citizens Energy Group employee who used to be half-owner of the Gaslight Inn on the southside of Indianapolis.

Kirkpatrick says Bob Leonard was brought to a party he threw at his house.

Prior to the explosion, Mark and Bob Leonard came to the Gaslight Inn and saw Kirkpatrick dressed in his Citizens Energy shirt.

Kirkpatrick: "The first thing [Bob] asked me was the difference between natural gas and propane. He asked me about the regulator. He was asking me, if something in the house broke, would the regulator work. His brother Mark said yes, and then they both looked at me and I said yes. Then he asked me how much gas it would take to fill up a house. I explained to him it was like a balloon. Once it was full it was going to pop or explode or something."

Kirkpatrick says Bob Leonard did most of the talking that night.


Call 6 Investigator Rafael Sanchez and Senior Digital Correspondent Jordan Fischer will be in Fort Wayne covering the trial every day. Download the RTV6 app to get the latest live blog posts as the proceedings unfold.

FOLLOW | Rafael Sanchez on Twitter | Jordan Fischer on Twitter

RELATED LINKS | Richmond Hill Special Section |  Mark Ray Leonard convicted on all counts

PREVIOUS | Timeline of events | Gallery: The Richmond Hill Explosion | Where were you at 11:11 PM?

INTERACTIVE MAP | Residents relive Richmond Hill explosion


View Explosion Damaged Homes in a larger map


Download the new and improved RTV6 app to get the latest news on the go and receive alerts to your phone

Sign up to have the latest news headlines delivered straight to your email inbox