Judge to decide if Richmond Hill trial should move out of town
One of the three suspects in the deadly Richmond Hill home explosion was back in court today.
Mark Leonard is asking that his trial be held outside of Marion County. As part of that request, the judge is convening an unusual jury — or at least trying to.
Many in the Marion County court system, including court staff and lawyers, said they haven't heard of this ever happening in Marion County and maybe not even in the state.
The court trying to do is convene a "test jury" to see if in fact, it's possible to find 12 people in Marion County who don't know about the case or who can at least be unbiased about it.
Mark Leonard was brought from the jail into court Monday morning, wearing an orange jail jumpsuit. But, he changed into a shirt and tie before appearing in court so that potential jurors will not assume that since he's in jail that he is guilty.
He and his brother Bob and girlfriend Monserrate Shirley are all accused of blowing up a home in the south side Richmond Hill subdivision in November 2012.
Prosecutors say they did it to claim insurance money.
Two neighbors were killed in that explosion and dozens of other homes were damaged.
Leonard's attorneys want the trial moved outside of Indianapolis due to the extensive media coverage the case has received.
The court is currently going through the motions of seating a jury. 125 people were called to jury duty, and that list will be reduced to around 90 over the next 2-3 days. The court will see if there are, in fact, 12 or so people who could be impartial.
The "test jury" will not actually serve on a jury, but will help the judge figure out if the trial needs to be moved out of town.