Third man accused in Richmond Hill blast files for change of venue before June trial

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Gary Thompson

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — The third man accused of conspiring to blow up a house in the Richmond Hill community in 2012 wants his upcoming trial moved out of Indianapolis.

Prosecutors claim Gary Thompson was part of the plan to destroy Monserrate Shirley’s house in a natural gas explosion that would result in a big insurance fraud payoff. Investigators said that Thompson tried unsuccessfully to blow up the house at least once in the weeks before the November 10th, 2012 blast.

He’s also accused of attempting to swap out a thermostat in a plan to spark the explosion.

Mark and Bob Leonard Jr. have already been convicted for their roles in the conspiracy which killed two neighbors.

The Leonards are both serving sentences of Life Without Parole. Thompson faces the same if convicted.

He is supposed to go on trial in Marion County in June, but has now filed a motion seeking a change of venue. The trials of the Leonard brothers were both moved out of town as prosecutors agreed they could not find a jury in Indianapolis that likely did not have a personal connection to the neighborhood or the dozens of residents left homeless by the blast.

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