Court rejects appeal of Indianapolis house explosion convict

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(Photo Supplied/ Marion County Jail)

INDIANAPOLIS (AP): The Indiana Supreme Court has upheld the murder and arson convictions and life in prison without parole sentences for a man convicted in a deadly Indianapolis house explosion.

The court ruled unanimously Thursday in rejecting the appeal by 58-year-old Bob Leonard. It found, among other things, that there was sufficient evidence for the murder convictions and that Indiana’s life without parole sentencing statute is constitutional.

The November 2012 natural gas explosion occurred at a house owned by his half brother’s then-girlfriend. Prosecutors alleged the trio planned to damage the house as part of an insurance fraud scheme. The blast killed two neighbors and damaged or destroyed dozens of homes.

An Allen County jury found Leonard guilty last year on 51 counts. He received two consecutive life sentences without parole, plus 70 years.

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