Sister of Indianapolis house explosion suspect testifies about text messages


By: Associated Press

(Source: License:

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) — The sister of a man on trial for charges stemming from a 2012 Indianapolis house explosion has testified he texted her the night of the blast saying he and his girlfriend had just won $250,000 at a casino in Lawrenceburg.

The Indianapolis Star reports Tammy Durham also said Mark Leonard messaged her that he would send a limousine to drive her to the Hollywood Casino.

However, an agent for the Indiana Gaming Commission said Leonard gambled only briefly at the Hollywood Casino and lost $100.

Leonard faces charges included arson, murder and conspiracy for the blast at then-girlfriend Monserrate Shirley’s home that killed a couple next door and damaged or destroyed dozen of homes.

Durham says Shirley was “overly in love” with Leonard but he wasn’t with her.