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Richmond Hill: State rests against Bob Leonard

Posted at 12:14 PM, Feb 17, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-17 12:14:49-05

FORT WAYNE, Ind. -- After four-and-a-half weeks of trial, the State rested its case Tuesday against Richmond Hill Explosion suspect Bob Leonard, Jr.

IMPD Det. Sgt. Jeff Wager, the lead investigator in the criminal case against Leonard, was re-called to the witness stand for a final time to be questioned by Leonard's defense attorneys.

Attorney Ted Minch used his cross-examination to suggest an associate of Mark Ray Leonard initially considered as a suspect – but ruled out – should be the one on trial. He pointed Monserrate Shirley's neighbor Tony Burnett, who identified that person out of a photo array, and who also said he was sure he didn't see Bob Leonard at Shirley's house on the day of the blast.

"He was very confused on his identification," Wager said. "He wanted to be very helpful. But I think he was trying so hard he was messing himself up."

MORE | Full testimony from Day 16 | Neighbor: '100% sure' man I saw wasn't Bob Leonard

Deputy Prosecutor Denise Robinson pointed out on redirect that Burnett's identification was simply of someone he'd seen at the house before – but not necessarily on the day of the explosion.

Minch also pointed out that in all of the conversations recorded while Monserrate Shirley's and Mark Leonard's phones were being wiretapped, none of them ever mentioned Bob Leonard. Wager said the wiretap records didn't contain every conversation the two had.

Jurors were told to report back to the courthouse at 8:45 a.m., when Leonard's defense will begin presenting its case. It wasn't immediately clear whether the defense intended to call any witnesses – or if Leonard himself intended to testify.


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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