Prosecutor: Alleged abuse in plot inadmissible
Last Updated: 120 days ago
INDIANAPOLIS - A prosecutor says jurors likely won't hear an Indianapolis woman's claim that her boyfriend coerced her into a scheme that led to an explosion that killed two people and damaged more than 30 homes.
Marion County Deputy Prosecutor Denise Robinson said after a hearing Wednesday that Monserrate Shirley's allegations of abuse likely won't be admissible at her trial.
Shirley's lawyers say in court documents that she "blindly followed" her boyfriend Mark Leonard and that he abused her physically and emotionally.
A friend of Shirley, Abby Jackson, attended Wednesday's hearing. It turned out that Jackson attended all of the hearings involving the Richmond Hill explosion.
Jackson once lived three houses down from Shirley, and her home was destroyed, like many others, in the explosion.
"It's very hard that I also know a neighborhood was turned upside down. I pray for mercy, even with my friendship with Mouncy," Jackson said. "There is something about me that I can forgive if she can tell the truth and repent."
Shirley, Mark Leonard, and his brother Bob Leonard are charged with murder and arson in the Nov. 10 blast on the south side of Indianapolis. Prosecutors say the three planned the explosion to collect insurance on Shirley's home.
The explosion damaged 33 homes so badly they had to be demolished.
All three suspects will return to court on Dec. 4.
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