Indy Couple Allegedly Blew Up Their Own House

Three arrested in allegedly intentional blast that killed two

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff

Posted Dec 21, 2012 10:49 AM CST

(Newser) – Police have arrested three people in the deadly Indianapolis blast that killed two people and destroyed 29 homes—and the people arrested are the family that lived in the house at the center of the blast. Monserrate Shirley and her boyfriend Mark Leonard, who lived in the house, and Leonard's brother, Robert Leonard, will face a host of charges including murder and arson, and may face the death penalty if convicted, RTV6 reports.

Police believe the family intentionally caused the blast by tampering with their fireplace and their microwave oven, sources say. The motive was likely financial—there were two mortgages on the home, and attempts to sell it had gone poorly. The family had been at a local casino during the blast, and was interviewed on RTV6 after. "We consider ourselves pretty lucky right now, to be honest with you," Mark Leonard said. "It's miserable, but we're making do."

Two homes that were leveled and the numerous neighboring homes that were damaged from a massive explosion in Indianapolis are seen in this Nov. 11, 2012 aerial photo.
Two homes that were leveled and the numerous neighboring homes that were damaged from a massive explosion in Indianapolis are seen in this Nov. 11, 2012 aerial photo.   (AP Photo/The Indianapolis Star, Matt Kryger, File)
Citizens Energy workers continue their investigation Monday afternoon Nov. 12, 2012 by digging into the front sidewalk looking for possible explanation into the explosion of a house in Indianapolis.
Citizens Energy workers continue their investigation Monday afternoon Nov. 12, 2012 by digging into the front sidewalk looking for possible explanation into the explosion of a house in Indianapolis.   (AP Photo/WTHR Chopper 13/The Indianapolis Star, Matt Kryger)
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