Judge denies mistrial motion on Indianapolis house explosion case


By: Tom Coyne/Associated Press

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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) — An Indiana judge has denied a mistrial in the case of a man accused of rigging a deadly Indianapolis house explosion, after the man’s attorneys raised concerns about miscalculations by a witness.

St. Joseph Superior Court Judge John Marnocha on Thursday rejected defense attorneys’ request in the case of Mark Leonard. The move came after prosecutors withdrew the witness, an employee of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Defense attorneys had argued that a corrected report on gas flow calculations could have altered their strategy in Leonard’s trial. Prosecutors say the error reduced the amount of time it took for natural gas to fill the home but didn’t change the fact that it exploded.

The 2012 blast killed two people and damaged or destroyed 80 homes.