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Before meeting Mark, Shirley had never been to a casino. Exasperated, Judge John Marnocha, who was assigned to oversee the trial, dismissed dozens of potential jurors and ended the day early with an admonition for Black and her co-counsel, David Shircliff. Shirley says he replaced the thermostat "so there were more options to heat the house during the day.". I was scared for my life and the life of my daughter., Forgive me for my poor choices in life, she continued. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. And in each of those categories, you betrayed your trust.. Shirley says he was paying Monserrate $1,000 a month in child support and mortgage payments. She told him the attempt didnt work but that there would be another attempt. Monserrate Shirley was a divorced Puerto Rican mother whose exotic looks quickly attracted Mark Leonard. Your email address will not be published. He told her to tell Holts, though, that they would be trying the fire again that night (Sunday night). The next time, Monserrate Shirley said Mark Leonards brother, Bob, was supposed to carry out the plan. Prosecutors then proposed an unusual strategy involving one trial, but three separate juries, one for each defendant. Mark Leonard was the first to go on trial. I know it caught us by surprise and we had to react to it.. An offhand comment would change that. Once the trial began, rather than trying to claim their client was innocent, Black and Shircliff instead told the jury up front that he was guilty but of trying to start a small fire, not cause an explosion. Fixed: Release in which this issue/RFE has been fixed.The release containing this fix may be available for download as an Early Access Release or a General Availability Release. Monserrate Shirley leaves court after learning her sentence. . According to Shirleys account, she was struggling to stay financially afloat when she met Leonard, and within a month of dating, he came up with the idea. Shirley: "I moved out in February of 2011. Monserrate Shirley, 49, said she became distraught when neighbors telephoned her after the November 2012 explosion and told her that her home was destroyed. Robinson knew that. Monserrate Shirley testified that Mark Leonard is the one who told her to increase the insurance on the contents of her house, and she also testified Mark Leonard brought up the idea of setting fire to her house for easy money. Shirley says Monserrate's sister moved out of the neighborhood around the same time they moved in. In a room inside IFD Station 63 less than a mile from the Richmond Hill subdivision Carter and Shirley talked about her whereabouts on the night of the explosion. At least half a dozen marriages in the Richmond Hill neighborhood ended in divorce in the years immediately following the blast. Shirley had heard of Bob before, but had not met him before he came over Thursday, November 1. I cant give back what was taken from them on November 10. Download the RTV6 app to get the latest live blog posts as the proceedings unfold. At least three of his possessions did survive, however: two golf bags, with clubs, and a driver he'd been gifted. She told her daughter a friend had taken it to put a new frame on it. Call IndyStar reporter Holly Hays at (317) 444-6156. Monserrate worked Friday, November 9. I dont believe in vengeance and I know that my son is not a person that would accept vengeance and such things, he didnt live that way., I look at Monserrate Shirley and I see a wasted life, said Tony Burnett, who lived across the street from Shirley. Shirley stated that her daughter had smelled gas during the week before the explosion. Your email address will not be published. Jurors will later hear that the golf bags and clubs were found at Bob Leonard's home after the explosion. "I don't understand it," Shircliff said of the judge's ruling. Shirley would receive over $300,000 in insurance money for the replacement of the home as well as personal items. "I feel like, you know, it would have been better off for me to be there [at the house when it exploded]," Shirley said. Shirleys apology rang hollow to many Richmond Hill residents in the courtroom. monserrate is the name of the dish, as well as its . The program is a spin-off of the Oxygen series Snapped and has a similar format to the Investigation Discovery program Wicked Attraction. Not until the following morning, when I went from this job to another job, did I get a text from a friend who thought it might be my house. Shirley didn't hear anything more about a plot to start a fire that night, and nothing happened. "I moved out in February of 2011," he said. Marion County Superior Court Judge Sheila Carlisle sentenced Monserrate Shirley to spend the maximum sentence of 50 years in prison on Tuesday. Another woman reported that she had loaned him about $5,000 for a construction job, which he had yet to pay back. I went into the breakroom and texted my ex about what happened. The now 49-year-old originally faced life in prison without parole. She was an RN for more than 20 years, starting her career in Michigan where she attended college, before moving to Indianapolis after her then-husband John Shirley got a job offer there. We are sure to have a lot more weird coincidences in the next few days, but this one is pretty crazy. The men were reportedly in the home briefly and hurriedly left. | ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. But ultimately I think we were able to accomplish what we needed to do for her.. She said she did not tell officers at the time what happened because she was scared. Prosecutors started by addressing her plea agreement. [1] Thirty-three homes were damaged severely enough to require demolition. "You face one, you get over one and you've got another one all the way until the end. Resolved: Release in which this issue/RFE has been resolved. [14] In April 2015, a fifth man, Glenn Hults, was charged with conspiracy to commit arson. I didnt want to do anything that would cause that trial date to be continued.. The defense wrapped up a little more quickly than expected after Judge John Marnocha denied their request to play a video of Shirley's 2012 interview with the media. But she put an end to that in August 2011.". [20] The trials started in 2015. ", Minch: "You said you talked to Ms. Shirley on the 11th. Its not the only weird coincidence Ive noticed in the past few months, but the name shirley was the one that stood out to me most. She and her boyfriend, Mark Leonard, who also lived at the residence, told authorities they had left Friday night for a weekend at Hollywood Casino in Lawrenceburg, Indiana. They got to the room, but Mark wasn't feeling well so he stayed there while Shirley played slot machines for about an hour. "[6] The witness also told investigators that Leonard talked about buying a Ferrari with the insurance money from the house. She was the nurse. Its because the game of death is the game of life itself. Made and inspired by a love triangle, this was written by a girl from Italy. Even years later, Robinson says she doesnt know why Black brought the hitman allegations up. He was sentenced in August to two life sentences, along with 75 years in prison. [10] Included on the probable cause affidavit were complaints from several women claiming that Leonard scammed them out of thousands of dollars. She said Mark didn't actually want anyone to come to the house, he just wanted a trail they could point to after the fire so they could explain why they were in the hotel. Shirley said she recalled telling them two innocent people die out of this.THIS HAS TO BE DONE. Indiana sheriffs deputy dies after falling ill during training, Myles Colvin captivates Heritage Christian crowds, preps for Purdue. Investigators found that the couple had substantial debt, including $63,000 in credit card debt, and were in bankruptcy proceedings. Should we not use all those witnesses? Again, Monserrate agreed to do her same three preparations: a casino hotel reservation, a babysitter for her daughterand boarding for Snowball. It was never no for an answer. He was going to bring Thompson to their house so she could say she was okay to move forward, too. Shortly thereafter I moved some furniture into the apartment. For their families, the tree is one last connection to the loved ones they lost on Nov. 10, 2012. [8], Prosecutors alleged that on the Friday before the explosion, Leonard and his brother Bob spoke with a neighbor who was a Citizens Energy employee, asking that person about the differences between natural gas and propane. The two divorced on July 25, 2011. Defense attorneys tried to play that video for jurors Wednesday, but the judge wouldnt allow it. While Leonard has been in slacks, a dress shirt and tie throughout the trial, Shirley walked into the courtroom in shackles and a prison jumpsuit. Leonard then tried to get Thompson to talk about what he did at Holts' home, but he refused, saying they shouldn't talk about it. Carter would testify that her emotions and demeanor seemed normal at the time, for someone whose house had just blown up. ", Minch: "You've had problems over the years with the furnace and the water heater. He said that his daughter had mentioned that the furnace wasn't . But these were good defense attorneys. Home owner, Monserrate Shirley; her boyfriend, Mark Leonard; and his brother, Bob Leonard, were arrested Friday and charged with murder and arson Prosecutors may seek the death penalty Fire. Glenn Hults, who had known of the scheme and kept Shirleys daughter Brooke out of the house, pleaded guilty on Dec. 28, 2016, to one count of assisting a criminal. Shirley stated that her daughter had smelled gas during the week before the explosion. Although the jury would eventually hear testimony and an audio recording of Leonard talking to an undercover ATF agent posing as a hitman (and Leonard would eventually get an extra 50 years in prison for it), having that information before the trial even began would have been extremely prejudicial against him. Once again, she agreed to make the same three arrangements: the casino reservation, a babysitter for her daughterand boarding for Snowball. Sgt. The force of the blast shattered windows and ripped down garage doors at dozens of other homes in the neighborhood. At one point, after one of the failed attempts to burn the home, Monserrate Shirley said she offered Mark Leonard her 401k instead. Critics have accused Shirley of faking her reaction after the explosion because she seemed upset but never shed a tear. Shirley's daughter went with them in Leonard's Cadillac. "In order to pay a very large amount of child support, I was working a full-time job and two part-time jobs," he said. I look at a neighbor that I would have been happy to help if she would have just come across the street and said, man I got a problem will you give me a hand? Lisa Marie Presley's daughter Riley Keough wears a Graceland sweater as she . There was discussion about: Should we cut all of those? There have been days with only two people in the audience other than media, but there were more than 30 Wednesday. Monserrate Shirley, the Indianapolis homeowner whose house is suspected of being the source of a deadly explosion that damaged nearly 80 homes in her subdivision, was inconsolable Tuesday as she wept while speaking publicly for the first time about the horrific incident. Shirley says Monserrate got the house in the divorce. That was the last time she saw Bob before they were arrested. I had a homicide detective crying on the stand. She and her daughterwent to the hotel, where Mark later joined them. "Mark can insult [Thompson], and he never does anything," Shirley said. At the end of the interview, Carter asked Shirley what should happen to the person responsible for the explosion. [6] One woman had previously won a $70,000 judgment against Leonard in a civil suit after lending him $53,000, which he never repaid. She told them she didn't want anything to do with them anymore. He occasionally worked on those cars at Shirley's home so she saw he had a wide array of tools. (WISH) - Monserrate Shirley told jurors Wednesday she would do anything for Mark Leonard, because she was in love with him. At one point you replaced the thermostat." Prosecutors alleged Leonard was the mastermind behind the explosion that damaged or destroyed more than 80 homes in Indianapolis, plotting with his then-live-in girlfriend Monserrate Shirley. At the trial I had firefighters crying on the stand. Too little, too late, said Jennifer Longworths father, Don Buxton. Hed also been previously accused of insurance fraud in connection with a car accident. Except her cat, the clothes on her back and a teddy bear she got when she was 1. monserrate is a real-life cousin of Shirley, and its said that her daughter monserrate will be taking us on when we die. You were a nurse. I tried to ignore Mark Leonards history as much as I could, Robinson said. Monserrate Shirley, 51, was one of five people charged in the explosion that left two people dead. When we got in this case, we were asked to save her life, said defense attorney James Voyles. But Im not allowed to say that. [30] He died on January 30, 2018, at an Indianapolis hospital, aged 48, of natural causes. At the end of the day, we still miss her and him, Dion, as much as ever, Buxton said. He says the log lighter worked fine when he lived there. The first attempt was supposed to be carried out by Gary Thompson, but it failed. She could face 20-50 years in prison. [6] Prosecutors also allege that he offered the hit man a $5,000 bonus if he made the murder look like a suicide. She was crying and hysterical and said the house blew up.". But I cant do that, and everybody knows you cant do that, but sometimes theres this perception that getting through the justice system will make things better. He did come to the house one week before the first attempt. Shirley said she thought the fire plan was crazy, but went along with it anyway. The sentence accounts for time served and good. [7], An investigation involving the Indianapolis Division of Homeland Security, the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and the Indianapolis Fire Department was begun. She moved to the United States when she was 25. She still wiped under her eyes with a tissue several times while she was on the stand. . He was, however, eventually able to return to his hobby of umpiring softball. . [26], In a case unrelated to the explosion charges, Mark Leonard and two other men were charged with conspiracy to commit insurance fraud. The case was expected to be the largest and most expensive trial in Marion County history. Once they were alone, Leonard, Holts and Shirley started talking about the fire again while they sat around the pool drinking beer. Shirley says they were his. The host family had a lot of horses, so Shirley's daughter went to play with them under the supervision of Holts' girlfriend, Sharon, whose teen daughters often watched the girl. More: Richmond Hill: 'The scars still remain', More: Richmond Hill explosion: 'It's the toughest thing I've ever done in my career', More: Richmond Hill explosion: 7 keys that solved the case.