Jury to resume deliberations in Indiana house explosion case


By: Tom Coyne/Associated Press

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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) — A jury has begun deliberations in the trial of a man accused of planning an Indianapolis house explosion that killed two neighbors and damaged or destroyed more than 80 homes.

Jurors in South Bend deliberated about 25 minutes Monday after hearing closing arguments in the trial of 46-year-old Mark Leonard. He’s facing 53 charges, including murder and felony murder in the deaths of John “Dion” Longworth and his wife, Jennifer.

The jury is to resume deliberations Tuesday.

Defense attorney John Shircliff told jurors during closing arguments that his client’s former live-in girlfriend, Monserrate Shirley, is a “master liar” who is not credible. She is a key prosecution witness.

Prosecutors say Leonard plotted with Shirley and his half brother, Bob Leonard, to blow up the home to collect insurance money.