Life without parole sentence questionable in explosion trial

Did suspects intend to kill Longworths?

INDIANAPOLIS - There’s no guarantee that a successful prosecution of the south side explosion suspects will lead to life in prison without parole, also known as LWOP.

The judge overseeing the trial has raised questions about that kind of sentence in the three pending trials.

Special Section: Indianapolis Explosion

Judge Shelia Carlisle said she believes, for now, that the prosecutor’s office will have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the suspects knowingly or intentionally set to out to kill Dion and Jennifer Longworth in order for a jury to consider life in prison without parole.

Mark Ray Leonard, his brother Robert Leonard and Monserrate Shirley face more than 50 criminal charges including murder, felony murder and arson.

Mark Leonard's and Shirley's lawyers had asked for the judge to dismiss the LWOP.

The judge ruled on Friday that their request will be taken under advisement.

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