Fourth suspect charged in Richmond Hill house explosion case

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INDIANAPOLIS (Jan. 28, 2015) - A fourth person has been charged in connection with the November 2012 explosion that killed two people and damaged or destroyed dozens of homes in the Richmond Hill subdivision on the south side of Indianapolis.

Gary Thompson, 44, is charged with two counts of murder in connection with the blast, CBS4 has learned. He has been arrested.

Dion and Jennifer Longworth died in the house explosion. Three people--Monserrate Shirley, Mark Leonard and Bob Leonard--were charged in the case. Shirley agreed to plead guilty last week to two counts of conspiracy to commit arson. Mark Leonard faces a June trial in St. Joseph County.

Prosecutors said Shirley and the Leonard brothers set off the blast in a scheme to collect insurance money.

For more than two years, detectives and prosecutors have theorized that that the Leonard brothers hadn't carried out the scheme on their own. While Mark Leonard was at a casino with Shirley that weekend, witnesses reported seeing Bob Leonard and another man leaving the home on Fieldfare Way on the afternoon of the blast.

Last week, defense attorney Jim Voyles told the court Shirley would plead guilty to two counts of conspiracy to commit arson and tell the court about other conspirators and two failed attempts to blow up her house.

Shirley told police Thompson is one of the others, and investigators think he participated in an earlier attempt to destroy the single mother's home for an insurance payoff.

After last week's plea agreement hearing, lead deputy prosecutor Denise Robinson said she looked forward to debriefing Shirley.

“Thus far, the information she's provided has been consistent with what we know about the investigation. We'll continue to corroborate it,” said Robinson. “If at any point any information she gives us is not truthful, then we certainly have no interest in moving forward with her testimony and we would not move forward with the plea.”

Formal charges against Thompson are expected Thursday.

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