- Associated Press - Wednesday, July 15, 2015

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) - The latest on the case of a man convicted in a deadly home explosion in Indianapolis (all times EDT):

11:30 a.m.

An attorney for an Indianapolis man convicted of murder for a house explosion insurance scam that killed two people says her client shouldn’t be eligible for life without parole.

Diane Black told the judge that Mark Leonard shouldn’t face the life sentence because prosecutors failed to prove any of the three aggravating factors they alleged. The debate included questions about the use of explosives, the fact multiple people were killed in the blast and that one of them burned to death.

Marion County Deputy Prosecutor Denise Robinson argued there was sufficient aggravating evidence.

St. Joseph County Superior Court Judge John Marnocha said he would make a decision before the Aug. 14 sentencing. He said that regardless of his decision, Leonard will face a minimum of 45 years in prison.


1 a.m.

An Indianapolis man convicted in a home explosion that gutted a subdivision and killed two neighbors will be back in court for a hearing on whether he should face a sentence of life without parole.

St. Joseph County Superior Court Judge John Marnocha will hear arguments Wednesday morning, a day after a jury convicted 46-year-old Mark Leonard of murder, arson and conspiracy to commit insurance fraud. Leonard waived his right to have the jury decide whether to recommend the sentence of life without parole on the two counts of murder in the deaths of John “Dion” Longworth and his wife, Jennifer.

Defense attorneys said they filed a motion to have a sentence of life without parole dismissed because they don’t believe prosecutors have proven the necessary aggravating factors.

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