Prosecutor nixes death penalty in Ind. house blast

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Associated Press

Posted on February 11, 2013 at 1:03 PM

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A prosecutor says he won't seek the death penalty for three people charged in a deadly Indianapolis house explosion because a jury is unlikely to choose that option.

Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry announced Monday he will seek life sentences without parole if a jury convicts Monserrate Shirley, her boyfriend Mark Leonard and his brother, Bob Leonard. All three face murder, arson and conspiracy charges in the Nov. 10 blast that destroyed 33 houses and killed two people.

Investigators say the trio intentionally created a gas explosion in Shirley's home in hopes of collecting insurance money.

Curry says aggravating circumstances supporting the life sentences include the multiple deaths and the use of an explosive device.

Curry also announced new charges including an insurance fraud charge against Shirley.

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