3 charged in Indianapolis house explosion

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A trio of Indianapolis natives have been charged with felony murder and multiple counts of arson for allegedly blowing up the home that they lived in, prosecutors said.

The explosion in November killed two neighbors of Mark Leonard and Monserrate Shirley, two of three said to be involved in the explosion.

Leonard, Shirley and Leonard’s brother, Bob Leonard Jr., were charged on Thursday in connection with the explosion, and on Friday, arrested, authorities said.

The trio faces murder charges for the deaths of Jennifer and John Longworth, as well as multiple other charges for injuries to 12 others and 33 neighborhood homes that needed to be demolished, according to Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry.

Curry called the gaff a “thoroughly senseless act.”

Authorities are working to determine whether others were involved.

The three suspects are expected to appear in court Monday morning.

Officials said the explosion caused an estimated $4.4 million in damage to the Richmond Hill subdivision on the city’s far south side.

The investigation began on Nov. 19, after it was concluded that the blast was not an accident.

Officials said they believe the explosion was caused by natural gas, possibly from a programmable microwave that exploded from the inside out.

Authorities are offering a $10,000 reward for information in the case.

The Chicago Tribune contributed to this article


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