Explosion suspect's ex-husband in shock over allegations

Monserrate Shirley
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Neighbors in Richmond Hill aren't the only ones dealing with the shock of the Nov. 10th explosion and the murder charges that followed.

Monserrate Shirley's ex-husband says he's worried about her and the daughter they had together.

"It's shocking to me. I was married to the woman for 18 years," said John Shirley in a phone interview Saturday.

John Shirley remembers a woman who was loving, caring and embraced life.

"She was a nurse for over 25 years. There were times when she came home and talked about saving a life and helping save a life and this just definitely not the person," he said.

While John Shirley admits he hasn't had much contact with Monserrate since their divorce, he has noticed a dramatic change in her personality, particularly since the explosion - and since the accusations started to fly that she and her boyfriend, Mark Leonard, were somehow involved.

"Even now, when I saw her in court, her whole attitude was that somebody was out to get her. I'm just seeing a whole sociopathic behavior with her not being able to deal with any kind of guilt or remorse," he said.

"I don't know what happened and hopefully she knew very little. I don't know," added Shirley.

But as John Shirley learned details of the investigation and the charges against his ex-wife, he was stunned to learn investigators believe the actual explosion may have been the second attempt.

"That's very disturbing. Why they couldn't have seen that this wasn't the thing to do and went ahead and did it anyway is very disturbing," he said.

"I'm going to try to be supportive to her as much as I can. She's the mother of my daughter," he said.

His daughter, a 13-year-old, is his primary focus now as he works to get custody back.

"I can't imagine what my daughter is going to start going through because of what's happened," he said. "I need to get her safe."

John Shirley says he's very concerned about his ex-wife's well-being behind bars, saying she was already emotionally troubled and he fears she won't fare well.

Monserrate Shirley, her boyfriend Mark Leonard and his brother Bob Leonard Jr. all face charges in connection with the explosion, which left Dion and Jennifer Longworth dead and which damaged or destroyed nearly 100 homes in the neighborhood.

See the probable cause affidavit here.