Change of venue OK'd in Richmond Hill trial

INDIANAPOLIS - A Marion County judge has granted a change of venue request in the trial of one suspect in the deadly southside explosion.

Mark Leonard will not face trial in Marion County after prosecutors dropped their objection to a change of venue.

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A Marion County deputy prosecutor dropped the state's challenge to the change of venue request, saying it would not be possible to find an impartial jury in Marion County.

The prosecutor said the goal is to try the case once without having to worry about a challenge in appeals court.

Leonard, his former girlfriend Monserrate Shirley and his brother Bob Leonard face charges of murder, arson and conspiracy to commit arson in the November 2012 blast that killed two of Shirley's neighbors and wrecked dozens of houses in the Richmond Hill subdivision on the city's far south side.
 
Prosecutors allege the three set the blast in Shirley's home as part of a scheme to collect insurance money.
 
Mark Leonard, Bob Leonard and Shirley are being tried in three separate trials.
 
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