Three arrested in Indianapolis explosion that killed two and damaged homes
10:00 AM, Dec 21, 2012
2:22 PM, Dec 21, 2012
INDIANAPOLIS (WRTV) - Three people have been arrested in the explosion on Indianapolis' south side that killed two neighbors and damaged dozens of homes, 41 Action News Scripps affiliate WRTV learned.
Monserrate Shirley and her boyfriend, Mark Leonard, who lived in the home, along with Leonard's brother, Robert Leonard, were arrested Friday on numerous charges, including murder and arson.
The couple, who lived in the home at 8349 Fieldfare Way along with Shirley's 12-year-old daughter, was visiting a Lawrenceburg casino the night of Nov. 10 when the blast rocked their Richmond Hill subdivision, leveling five homes and damaging dozens more.
The death penalty will be under consideration in the case, sourced told WRTV.
A probable cause affidavit will be released Friday that will indicate that the explosion sparked from fireplace tampering and a microwave oven, sources told WRTV. Additional details of how prosecutors think that sparked the explosion are expected to be released.
Authorities believe that the the explosion was concocted in a financial scheme.
The WRTV Investigators have uncovered details pointing to significant financial problems for the couple.
Shirley filed bankruptcy in 2007 with her then husband, but that case was dismissed this June because they failed to make the required payments, documents show.
According to court documents, the home had two mortgages -- one for more than $160,000 and a second for nearly $65,000.
The 9-year-old home with four bedrooms and two and a half baths was put up for a short sale in March 2011, documents show.
The home was initially listed for $188,900, but the price was dropped to $154,900 four months later and to $149,900 in January, before it was taken off the market.
41 Action News sister station WRTV in Indianapolis interviewed Shirley and Mark Leonard in the aftermath of the explosion.
"We consider ourselves pretty lucky right now, to be honest with you," he said. "It's miserable, but we're making do with what we've got."
The couple, who spoke in the office of their attorney, said they had lost everything and had endured days of questioning with investigators.
"It's a big devastation, and we're doing everything we can do help the police investigators, the fire department, the (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives)," Leonard said.
"People are talking to me and asking me questions. I mean, I tell everyone the truth," Shirley said. "Everybody's after me, asking me questions. I've answered everything."