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'There's nothing for us to be happy about'

Posted at 3:31 PM, Feb 24, 2016

For five weeks, John Longworth listened as prosecutors laid out evidence against Bob Leonard, a man charged for his alleged role in the deadly Richmond Hill explosion in 2012 that killed Longworth's son and daughter-in-law. 

On Wednesday, an Allen County jury found Leonard guilty of all 51 counts in the explosion, including murder. 

VERDICT: Bob Leonard found guilty on all counts

"There's nothing for us to be happy about," Longworth said outside of the courtroom. "You adapt to pain and you learn how to handle it. It's easier now to think of Dion and Jennifer."

Jennifer Longworth died instantly when her neighbor Monserrate Shirley's house exploded on the night of Nov. 10, 2012

Dion Longworth died of smoke and hot gas inhalation, followed by extensive burns. 

"The thing that comes back and bothers me the most is my son burning to death," Longworth said when he was asked his opinion of Leonard facing a maximum sentence of life without parole. 

"Life without parole tells people that was a very horrible thing that was done," he said. 

Leonard's half-brother and alleged co-conspirator, Mark Ray Leonard, was convicted in July and sentenced to two consecutive life sentences, plus 75 years, in prison. 

"They’ve really hurt our family and caused enough pain already," Longworth said Wednesday. 

A third defendant, Mark Leonard's ex-girlfriend Monserrate Shirley, pleaded guilty in January 2015 and faces 20-50 years in prison.

Two other defendants await trial in Marion County.

"I could really care less what happens to these people," Longworth said. 

Dozens of homes were damaged in the explosion. Glen Olvey's was one of them. 

"I remember flying through the air. I remember hitting the island we had in the middle of our kitchen," he said Wednesday.

"I remember my wife at the time trying to get out. She couldn’t get out. She asked me what happened and I had no idea." 

Olvey was in the RTV6 studio when Leonard's guilty verdict was announced. 

"This is a verdict that we all hoped for," he said. "The murder of Jennifer and Dion both, if nothing else, that was the one that I think everybody, including myself, in the neighborhood wanted." 


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

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