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The Marion County Prosecutor is seeking a joint trial for the suspects in the Richmond Hill subdivision explosion.
Deputy Prosecutor Denise Robinson says it's her belief that Monserrate Shirley, her boyfriend Mark Leonard and his brother Bob Leonard acted together in the November 10th explosion. Robinson says that's why they're seeking a joint trial even though at least two of the defendants may be seeking separate trials.
Judge Sheila Carlisle postponed the pre-trial hearings of Bob Leonard and Monserrate Shirley from March 4th to April 10th. The Judge also granted the prosecution's motion that the trio be sentenced to life without the possibility of parole rather than the death penalty if they're convicted. She also granted the prosecution's request to add an arson charge for Bob Leonard and conspiracy to commit insurance fraud and insurance fraud charges onto those already faced by Monserrate Shirley.
Each defendant faces at least 50 counts following the blast that killed John and Jennifer Longworth and damaged dozens of homes to the tune of $4 million. Mark Leonard's attorney's may be seeking a change of venue, an issue Judge Carlisle stated she won't consider until later. Carlisle ordered attorneys to confer with one another on possible dates to begin the jury trial. Robinson says it's most likely that trial won't begin until 2014.
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