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Richmond Hill: White van tracked to Bob Leonard

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Posted at 7:08 PM, Feb 10, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-10 19:08:31-05

FORT WAYNE, Ind. -- After 12 days in an Allen County courtroom, a witness finally took the stand to identify Bob Leonard, Jr., in connection with the 2012 Richmond Hill Explosion.

Ken Bailey told jurors he was assigned by State Farm Insurance as a special investigator following the explosion.

Bailey tracked down reports of a white van seen in the neighborhood on the day of the explosion to Bob Leonard – the brother of Mark Ray Leonard, who lived with his girlfriend Monserrate Shirley at the home which exploded.

"I asked Bob about the white van. He said he had it that weekend," Bailey said.

MORE FROM DAY 12 | Full testimony | Jailhouse informant accused of child molesting, blackmail, to testify

Bailey said Leonard told him he and his brother had bought a thermostat for the house shortly before the explosion. He told him about having the van on the weekend of the blast. But then he wouldn't answer any more questions.

"We had that conversation," Bailey said. "Immediately after, he asked me, 'What did Mark tell you?' I told him I had more questions, and he told me he wanted to speak to an attorney.'"

Bailey was the first witness to testify about Bob Leonard's possible involvement in the explosion since the prosecution's opening statements.

After Bailey, IMPD Detective Sgt. Jeff Wager took the stand to walk jurors through his investigation, and the call from a retired IMPD officer that eventually led him to the Leonard brothers as well.

"While I was in the office typing up those subpoenas, I got a call that a retired police officer named Ed Duckworth wanted me to call him," Wager said. "So I did, and he indicated his son Mark Duckworth might have information related to the case."

Duckworth, a longtime friend of Mark Leonard's, told Wager he'd had a phone conversation with Leonard in the week leading up to the explosion that led him to believe it might not have been an accident.

Duckworth is the man Mark Leonard allegedly attempted to hire a hitman from jail to kill. He has yet to testify in Bob Leonard's trial.

MORE | Richmond Hill: Leonard's friend says he 'knew too much'

Jurors will hear Thursday from Monserrate Shirley, who agreed as part of a plea deal to testify against her co-defendants.

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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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