Indianapolis house explosion trial delayed for mistrial motion


By: Tom Coyne/Associated Press

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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) — A northern Indiana judge has put the trial of a man accused of rigging a deadly 2012 Indianapolis house explosion on hold so attorneys can prepare arguments on whether he should grant a mistrial because of a miscalculation of a witness who has yet to testify.

Attorneys for Mark Leonard contend a corrected report on gas flow calculations by David Sheppard of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives could change their strategy and affects not only the guilt-and-innocence phase of Leonard’s trial on murder and arson charges but also the potential penalty phase.

St. Joseph Superior Court Judge John Marnocha halted testimony Wednesday and will hear arguments Thursday in South Bend. He specifically wants to hear how the corrected calculations hurt Leonard’s chances for a fair trial.