Appeal of Richmond Hill explosion conspirator Mark Leonard rejected
INDIANAPOLIS — The Indiana Supreme Court has rejected an appeal from a man serving two life sentences for causing a massive Indianapolis house explosion that killed two people.
In a unanimous ruling Tuesday, the state’s highest court affirmed the convictions and sentences of 48-year-old Mark Leonard. The ruling also found Indiana’s life without parole statute is not unconstitutional.
Leonard was convicted in 2015 of murder, arson and conspiracy to commit insurance fraud in the November 2012 natural gas explosion that destroyed his then-girlfriend’s home and killed two next-door neighbors. That blast damaged or destroyed more than 80 homes on Indianapolis’ south side.
Leonard received two life sentences without parole, plus 75 years.
Leonard also was sentenced to an additional 50 years in February for trying to have a witness killed.
Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry issued the following statement:
“We are pleased by the unanimous decision by the Indiana Supreme Court to affirm the murder convictions and life without parole sentences for Mark Leonard, who orchestrated the 2012 explosion in the Richmond Hill neighborhood. His reckless actions led to the tragic loss of one young couple and forever altered the lives of many other neighbors, family members, friends, and first responders. The Court has agreed this is the appropriate response for those actions. Congratulations to our trial team, the IMPD, IFD, and federal ATF investigators, and our other partners who contributed to this successful prosecution.”
The court’s opinion can be read in its entirety here.