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Richmond Hill: Piles of evidence bog down Week 3

Posted at 5:28 PM, Feb 05, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-05 17:28:21-05

FORT WAYNE, Ind. -- Allen County jurors received a crash course in natural gas logistics and fire investigation this week as prosecutors continued laying out their case against Richmond Hill Explosion suspect Bob Leonard, Jr.

Day 7

In a day spent mostly talking to officials from Citizens Energy Group and fire investigators, the witness defense attorneys spent most time on was John Shirley – the ex-husband of their client's co-defendant Monserrate Shirley.

Shirley testified to he and his wife's acrimonious divorce, and to her decision to cut him off from their daughter.

He also told jurors the house at 8349 Fieldfare Way had no significant problems with its gas appliances while he lived there.

MORE FROM DAY 7 | Monserrate Shirley's ex takes the stand | Full testimony from Day 7

Days 8 & 9

Prosecutors spent nearly two entire days entering physical evidence into the case.

Find a list of evidence entered here.

Day 10

After two solid days of evidence entry, prosecutors brought in private fire investigator Steve Shand, owner of Shand Forensic Investigations, to talk more about the evidence sorting process.

Shand also testified about the "irregular" burn patterns he found on the carpet.

"When you see these burn patterns, you know natural gas is not the end of it. You know something else is a player," Deputy Prosecutor Denise Robinson said after asking him about the patterns.

"Absolutely," Shand said. "We had a living room that had liquid accelerant poured over the carpet in an irregular pattern."

Bob Leonard's jurors did hear one new witness Friday that was left out of his brother's trial: Dr. David Sheppard, of the ATF Fire Research Laboratory.

Mark Leonard's attorneys had objected to Sheppard's testimony after an error was found in a report he prepared shortly before the trial began. The revised report was entered into evidence Friday. In it, Sheppard calculated that it would take an absolute minimum of 3 hours for the excess natural gas that passed through the home's meter to enter the home and reach the lowest flammability level near one of the suspected ignition sources. The upper end started at 9 hours, Sheppard said.

MORE FROM DAY 10 | Full testimony


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

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