Financial Gain the Apparent Motive

Three Arrested in Indy House Explosion

By Peter Neumann

December 21, 2012 Updated Nov 2, 2013 at 1:51 AM EDT

INDIANAPOLIS (www.incnow.tv) --- Authorities have arrested three people in connection with a November 10th house explosion in an Indianapolis subdivision in which two people were killed, five homes were leveled and two dozen homes heavily damaged.

Monserrate Shirley and her boyfriend, Mark Leonard, who lived in the home, along with Leonard's brother, Robert Leonard, were arrested this morning on numerous charges, including murder and arson.

Financial gain may have been the motive. WRTV6 reports the couple had financial problems.

WRTV6 also reports that 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.

Prosecutors say they'll consider seeking the death penalty in the case.

WRTV6 also reports that a probable cause affidavit will indicate that the explosion sparked from tampering wit the gas fireplace, and used their microwave oven on a delay timer to ignite the gas. Prosecutors said within the last hour that the suspects tried unsuccessfully to set off the explosion a week earlier.

Prosecutors say insurance on the home and its contents had recently been increased.

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