Informant: House explosion suspect wanted witness killed


By: Associated Press

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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) — A jailhouse informant has testified that a suspect in a deadly 2012 Indianapolis house explosion wanted to have a witness in the case killed.

Robert Smith told jurors Thursday that Mark Leonard told him about the explosion while they were outside their cells and asked about hiring a hitman.

WISH-TV reports defense attorneys wanted Smith’s testimony excluded. They said Smith supplied Leonard with medications in jail that could have affected Leonard’s understanding of what he was doing.

Leonard faces murder, arson and other charges in the November 2012 explosion that killed John and Jennifer Longworth and damaged or destroyed about 80 homes in the Richmond Hill neighborhood. Prosecutors say he plotted the explosion at the home of his then-girlfriend, Monserrate Shirley, to collect about $300,000 in insurance proceeds.