Verdict reached in Richmond Hill explosion trial
The jury reached a verdict in the trial of Mark Leonard who faced 46 counts of arson, murder and insurance fraud charges related to the explosion in November 2012 in the Richmond Hill neighborhood in Indianapolis.
Leonard was found guilty on all 53 counts.
One of the key witnesses in the trial was Monserrate Shirley, Leonard's ex-girlfriend, who took a plea agreement for her involvement in the explosion.
They plotted to blow up Shirley’s home so they could collect the insurance.
Instead of a small explosion, it destroyed five homes, and damaged dozens others. [Click here for a map]
John Dion and Jennifer Longworth were killed in the explosion.
Jennifer Longworth’s father, John Buxton, said the verdict is temporary comfort for unimaginable pain.
“You just take one step at a time, one day at a time and when you have good people like the people of South Bend who find the right answer to the counts and find the guilty verdict, that's all you can ask,” said Buxton.
After nearly six weeks of testimony, jurors found Leonard guilty in less than four hours.
The prosecution was satisfied with the verdict.
“All I can do is say for this part of the justice system we’re here to support you. We're here to see that justice is done. Justice means different things to different people but we will do our job and today we did our job,” said Denise Robinson, Deputy Prosecuting Attorney.
Leonard faces up to life in prison without parole. He will be back in court on Wednesday for sentencing.