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3 charged in Indy blast to appear in court

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press
Monday, July 8, 2013 - 7:51 am

INDIANAPOLIS — Three people who prosecutors say blew up a house and devastated an Indianapolis neighborhood in an insurance fraud plot are set to appear in court on charges of murder and arson.

A pretrial conference will be held Wednesday in Marion County Court for Monserrate Shirley, her boyfriend, Mark Leonard, and his brother, Bob Leonard.

The three are charged in the Nov. 10 explosion that killed a couple who lived next door and destroyed five homes, including Shirley's. The explosion caused widespread damage to dozens of other homes in the subdivision, many of which had to be demolished.

Investigators believe the three conspired to fill Shirley's house with natural gas by tampering with natural gas pipes and valves, and programmed a microwave to start on a timer to ignite the gas.