Richmond Hill co-conspirator pleads guilty to conspiracy to commit arson, could serve less than 10 years under plea deal

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Gary Thompson

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – A co-conspirator in the deadly Richmond Hill explosion formally entered a plea deal Friday morning that could send him to prison for less than 10 years.

Gary Thompson pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit arson.

He was initially charged with two counts of murder and 46 counts of arson as well. Those charges were dismissed under the plea deal.

Under the terms of the agreement, Thompson faces a 30-year sentence with 10 years suspended.

With credit for time served and good behavior, Thompson could serve less than 10 years with an additional two years probation after his release from prison.

The explosion in November 2012 at the home of Monserrate Shirley killed neighbors Jennifer and Dion Longworth and either destroyed or damaged nearly 80 homes.

At Friday’s hearing, Dion Longworth’s father, John, spoke. He said none of the suspects have apologized for what happened to his son and daughter-in-law and questioned whether Gary Thompson will return to a life of crime upon his release.

Thompson faces the same charges as Monserrate Shirley, who also signed a plea deal.

She told investigators about Thompson’s role to blow up the home as part of an insurance fraud plot. She also said her then boyfriend Mark Leonard and his brother and Bob Leonard Jr. were the masterminds.

The Leonard brothers have already been convicted of murder and conspiracy to commit arson and sentenced to life in prison.

After the terms of Thompson’s plea deal were released, Bob Leonard Jr. told FOX59 he was not happy with the terms, saying Thompson was “in on the whole thing from start to finish.”

One final defendant, Glenn Hults, goes to trial in November.

Monserrate Shirley has yet to finalize her plea deal.

Judge Sheila Carlisle said she will finalize the sentencing for Monserrate Shirley and Gary Thompson after the trial for Glenn Hults is completed. That sentencing date is set for December 2 at 10:30 a.m.

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