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Richmond Hill: Burning home collapsed on Olveys

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Posted at 11:45 AM, Jan 28, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-28 11:46:02-05

FORT WAYNE, Ind. -- Glenn Olvey says he remembers he was about to go to bed. Then he was flying through the air. After that, he says, he doesn't remember much else.

"The news had just come on. The next thing I knew, I was flying through the air. It felt like somebody turned on a giant fan with a heat source attached to it.," Olvey said. "Then total darkness. I remember my youngest daughter screaming. I remember my wife asking me what happened. After that, nothing until we were outside."

Olvey, his wife Gloria and two daughters, Amojean and Katherine, lived one door north of Monserrate Shirley in the Richmond Hill subdivision on the south side of Indianapolis. He says their houses were, at most, 10 feet apart. When Shirley's home exploded on Nov. 10, 2012, the Olveys received the full force of the blast.

"All of a sudden, everything just went dark," Gloria Olvey said. "I was knocked sideways in the chair I was in. A warm rush of air came across me. I sat up and the whole corner of the house came down on me."

WATCH | Olvey family gives up on rebuilding home

Katherine Olvey says she remembers a neighbor helping to pull her from the wreckage of her house.

"We kicked down the gate so I could get out," she said. "I walked down the street and found a firefighter. I turned around and there were houses on fire. Houses missing."

All three Olveys testified Thursday at the trial of explosion suspect Bob Leonard, Jr., in Fort Wayne. Find their full testimony below:

9:55 a.m. – Glenn Olvey, 8343 Fieldfare Way, called as a witness by the prosecution.

Olvey says he lived with his wife Gloria and two daughters, Catherine and Amojean, at the time of the explosion. He says they knew their neighbor, Monserrate Shirley, but their socializing was mostly confined to running into each other out in the yard.

Olvey says when Mark Leonard moved in, they noticed a change:

"The yard wasn't as well-kept. Different vehicles coming in and out. Didn't see Monserrate's daughter out in the yard as much."

10:00 a.m. – Olvey says he was about to go to sleep when the explosion happened: "I had planned to go ahead and go to bed right after I saw some of the news. Checked the weather. I had plans to play golf the next day."

Olvey: "The news had just come on. The next thing I knew, I was flying through the air. It felt like somebody turned on a giant fan with a heat source attached to it. Then total darkness. I remember my youngest daughter screaming. I remember my wife asking me what happened. After that, nothing until we were outside."

10:04 a.m. – Olvey: "It seemed like a lifetime we were outside and had no idea where Amojean was." A neighbor eventually walked up and said they had her safe.

10:06 a.m. – Olvey says he received severe road rash from where the drywall of the ceiling had fallen and slid across his back.

10:09 a.m. – Defense attorney Ted Minch begins cross-examination.

Minch: "You testified during your deposition that you thought you'd seen Bob Leonard at Monserrate Shirley's house. You testified that you thought it was within the first couple weeks of Mark Leonard moving in, and then you hadn't seen him in the months prior to the explosion."

Olvey: "Correct."

Minch: "On Nov. 10, 2012, when you were outside, you smelled something. Is that correct?"

Olvey: "Yes. I thought it was propane."

Olvey says he couldn't pinpoint the origin of the smell. He didn't smell it again when he returned from a trip to the gas station.

Minch: "Did your wife call your attention to the gas meter at the Shirley residence?"

Olvey: "No."

10:16 a.m. – Minch: "On either the 9th or the 10th, you don't recall seeing the white van do you? Or anyone coming and going?"

Olvey: "No."

10:18 a.m. – Olvey dismissed.

10:19 a.m. – Gloria Olvey called as a witness by the prosecution.

Olvey: "All of a sudden, everything just went dark. I was knocked sideways in the chair I was in. A warm rush of air came across me. I sat up and the whole corner of the house came down on me."

Olvey says her oldest daughter, Amojean, was fortunately downstairs at the time: "If she would have been upstairs, she probably would have been killed."

10:22 a.m. – Olvey: "I asked [my youngest daughter] Catherine if she had her phone. She said yes, so I told her to call 911."

Olvey says her neighbor had to use a 2x4 to pry her out from under the ceiling.

Olvey: "I had several cuts to my face. I had several puncture wounds from nails all over my body. I had a pretty significant gash on my calf. It took 33 stitches to close it."

10:25 a.m. – Olvey says she knew "Moncie" and her daughter, Brook.

Olvey: "[Monserrate] became kind of antisocial" about a year prior to the explosion. "If you got a wave when she was driving by, that became unusual."

10:28 a.m. – Olvey says she heard a mechanical hissing sound coming from the Shirley house on the Friday before the explosion.

Olvey: "It was right by the meter. I went over. There was no vapor, no smell, no dripping. I couldn't tell where it was coming from."

10:31 a.m. – Defense attorney Ted Minch begins cross-examination.

Minch: "You said you saw Mark Leonard on almost a daily basis, but you never interacted with him."

Olvey says she saw people moving boxes and items in and out of the van and into the garage frequently.

10:33 a.m. – Minch: "Did you see that white van outside of the house on Nov. 9?"

Olvey: "I can't say that I did."

Olvey says a Realtor's lockbox was hanging on Shirley's gas meter.

10:40 a.m. – Olvey dismissed.

10:41 a.m. – Katherine Olvey called as a witness by the prosecution.

Olvey: "I was about to go upstairs and change into my pajamas, and then it was just dark. I could feel that I was bleeding from my head."

Olvey says neighbors had to help pull her out of the collapsing house.

Olvey: "We kicked down the gate so I could get out. I walked down the street and found a firefighter. I turned around and there were houses on fire. Houses missing."

10:44 a.m. – Olvey says she had to get stitches in her face and head and legs.

10:45 a.m. – Olvey dismissed.

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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

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