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Richmond Hill: Jailhouse informant comes forward

Posted at 5:19 PM, Feb 10, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-10 19:09:06-05

FORT WAYNE, Ind. -- A Monroeville man accused of molesting a 12-year-old girl will be allowed to testify about statements he claims he overhead from Bob Leonard, Jr., at the Allen County Jail.

Marion County Prosecutor Denise Robinson said Tristan Wiegman, 20, came forward last month after Leonard's trial had already begun. Leonard faces more than 50 felony charges, including murder, for his alleged role in the Richmond Hill Explosion.

According to a statement read by Leonard's attorneys, Wiegman claims he overheard Leonard say, "Nobody was supposed to get hurt. It was supposed to be easy. Now I'm here. Now I'm in jail."

See statements from the prosecution and defense about Wiegman's admission into the trial in the video player above.

According to The Journal Gazette, Wiegman was charged in September with two counts of felony child molesting for allegedly sexually assaulting a 12-year-old girl.

Prosecutors asked Judge Frances Gull to exclude information about the nature of the charges against Wiegman when he testifies.

Leonard's defense attorneys argued that jurors should hear what Wiegman is accused of – and that his statement might not even be admissible at all.

"Regardless of whether the State has made an offer, I think the nature of the charge and felony level are highly relevant as to issues of trustworthiness or any ulterior motive he might have," defense attorney Ted Minch said. "I think the nature of the crime itself lends itself to bias or prejudice, because I think this individual would clearly do anything he can to avoid jail time at all."

"It appears there was also an attempt by this individual to blackmail the victim in his case," Minch added.

Robinson said prosecutors hadn't offered Wiegman a deal, and couldn't if they wanted to since he's charged in Allen County.

Gull ruled in favor of the prosecution, meaning Leonard's defense will not be able to bring up the charges against Wiegman, except to say he is accused of committing a felony.


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.

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

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