Venue change granted for Indy house blast suspect

Mark Leonard walks into a Marion County courtroom. (WISH Photo)
Mark Leonard walks into a Marion County courtroom. (WISH Photo)

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A judge has granted a change of venue in the trial of one defendant in a deadly Indianapolis house explosion.

Judge Sheila Carlisle granted the request for Mark Leonard Wednesday after prosecutors withdrew their objection to the change of venue request. A spokeswoman for prosecutors says they stipulated to the change out of caution.

Leonard’s attorneys sought the change because of extensive publicity over the case. It wasn’t immediately clear whether the trial would be moved to another county or a jury imported to Indianapolis, or whether venue also would change for two other defendants.

Leonard, ex-girlfriend Monserrate Shirley and brother Bob Leonard face murder, arson and conspiracy charges in the November 2012 blast that killed two people and destroyed or damaged dozens of houses on the city’s south side.

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