MAN CONVICTED OF MURDER IN HOME EXPLOSION
An Indiana man was convicted of murder, arson and insurance fraud Wednesday for his role in a 2012 house explosion that killed two neighbours and devastated a subdivision in Indianapolis. Prosecutors said surveillance video, witness testimony and DNA evidence proved Bob Leonard, 57, was involved in the plot with his half brother and others to use natural gas and a microwave to blow up the house for US$300,000 in insurance. The judge later ruled aggravating factors were sufficient for Leonard to face a maximum sentence of life in prison without parole. His sentencing hearing is set for March 18. “It closes one more piece in the tragedy. It helps with putting the nightmare behind us some,” said John Longworth, whose son and daughter-in-law lived next door and were killed in the explosion. The verdict was a relief, but “there’s nothing for us to be happy about. It’s all sad.” Last year, Leonard’s half brother, Mark Leonard, was convicted of being the mastermind behind the Nov. 10, 2012 explosion that damaged or destroyed more than 80 homes.