Indiana News

Indianapolis House Explosion Defendant Due to Change Plea

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) – One of three people charged in a deadly Indianapolis house explosion is set to appear in court to change her plea in the case.

Monserrate Shirley has a hearing Tuesday afternoon in Marion Superior Court in Indianapolis. A natural gas explosion destroyed her house in November 2012, killing a couple who lived next door and damaging more than 80 nearby homes.

The Marion County Prosecutor's office announced Friday it had reached a plea agreement with Shirley but no details of the deal have been released.

Shirley had pleaded not guilty to murder and arson charges in the blast. Her then-boyfriend, Mark Leonard, and his brother, Bob Leonard, face the same charges. 

Prosecutors allege the trio rigged the gas explosion in a scheme to collect $300,000 in insurance.

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