Attorney: Clients have gotten bad rap during explosion investigation

Monserrate Shirley lived in the home at the center of the Richmond Hill explosion.
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While demolition gets underway in a south Indianapolis neighborhood affected by a house explosion, the attorney for the people who lived at the home at the center of the blast says his clients are getting a bad rap.

Joe Bustle and his family members got an up close look at their neighbors' homes getting torn down Tuesday.

"Sad," Bustle said.

He is anxiously awaiting the outcome of the investigation, saying he knew all along someone blew up the house on Fieldfare Way on purpose.

"I am speaking strictly for myself. I was here before the fire trucks showed up and I knew it was no accident. It was too big and too violent," Bustle said.

Although investigators agree the explosion was no accident, they'll only say investigation is ongoing. The blast killed next-door neighbors Dion and Jennifer Longworth.

In an unplanned, but in-depth interview Tuesday, attorney Randall Cable says his clients Monserrate Shirley, whose home blew up, and her boyfriend Mark Leonard are getting a bad rap, especially in the days since investigators ruled the explosion a criminal act.

"Accident or build up and that is all they know. It was an explosion and wanting and wishing it was somebody's fault," Cable said.

Cable also said his clients have cooperated with questioning a total of four times, both together and individually, by a combination of investigators from the ATF, IFD, arson and police. He says reports of furniture moved from the property before the blast was actually furniture dropped there to be pressure washed.

The attorney says Shirley has not returned to work since the explosion, saying she is too emotionally distraught and fears she is possibly suicidal. Cable told Eyewitness News police are supposed to surrender Shirley's burned residence this week to her and the insurance company.

He also confirmed that the insurance company has informed Mark Leonard he has no coverage, because he is not officially listed in the policy.

During the conversation, Cable says Richmond Hill residents have unnecessarily turned their backs on his clients, who lost their home, too.

"All the neighbors up in arms, nobody will talk to Monserrate," Cable said.