Fifth suspect charged in 2012 Indianapolis south side explosion

Glenn Hults

Marion County prosecutors have charged a fifth person in relation to the November 2012 explosion in the Richmond Hill neighborhood.

Glenn Hults faces a charge of conspiracy to commit arson and is expected to appear in court Wednesday. Prosecutors previously charged Mark Leonard, his then-girlfriend Monserrate Shirley, Leonard's brother Bob Leonard and their friend Gary Thompson. Investigators say they planned to blow up Shirley's house in order to collect insurance money. The blast killed two neighbors and destroyed or damaged dozens of homes.

At an initial hearing Wednesday, Hults entered a not guilty plea and requested his bond be reduced from the original $100,000. A judge will rule on that request at his next hearing, which is set for next week.

Read the charges against Glenn Hults here.

Hults' name has been associated with the case since the beginning. Hults and his then-fiancée babysat Shirley's daughter the night her house blew up.

Until now, Glenn Hults was just a friend of Mark Leonard, the alleged mastermind of the Richmond Hill explosion.

New statements from Shirley's plea deal reveal Hults may have been the one who first came up with the idea of a house fire.

In court records investigators say Shirley told them: "Glenn Hults knew about...plans to burn down (her) house and she spoke several times with him about securing her pictures for safe keeping, because she did not trust anybody else....Glenn Hults advised her that he had her back and would take care of them."

Shirley also said Hults told her, "You're crazy. Bob Leonard is crazy. They are going to blow up the whole neighborhood."

According to Shirley, Hults first told her and her boyfriend about getting insurance by setting fire to her house and claiming damage to all of her belongings.

See all stories related to the Indianapolis south side explosion.

Shirley said she became uneasy with the plan but was later reassured by suspect Gary Thompson. She recalled that conversation to investigators:

"Mark Leonard said to Gary Thompson, 'Do you remember when you set the fire at Glenn's house, how he got money so quickly?'"

"'See, it's the same thing with you. You have no record of problems with insurance. They won't suspect anything.'"

A fire at Glenn Hults' home?

13 Investigates has learned his house in the 3900 block of Ewing Street suffered fire damage 13 years ago and resulted in an insurance payout.

Monserrate Shirley told investigators Gary Thompson helped to set the fire and that Hults collected $70,000 in insurance money. 

Prosecutor Curry acknowledges those claims, but says there will be no charges in that case. "It was never investigated as arson..and it's not feasible to prove arson there" now, Curry said.

On January 19th of this year, investigators working the Richmond Hill case questioned Hults based on Monserrate Shirley's statements. That's the same day investigators questioned Gary Thompson, the recently named fourth suspect in the case.

Hults told investigators, "Gary Thompson has worked at his residence...done electrical work for him ...Installed a tanning bed that may have been the source of the fire at his residence in which Glenn Hults received seventy thousand dollars ($70,000) from an insurance company."

"The investigation will not stop to hold all persons accountable for any role they may have had in what happened on November 10th," said Denise Robinson, the Deputy Prosecutor on the Richmond Hill Case.

By phone, Hults told 13 Investigates reporter Sandra Chapman he has been questioned but doesn't know why he's being dragged into the case. He says he has retained an attorney and is sickened by what happened to the Richmond Hill neighborhood.

Shirley agreed to plead guilty to two counts of conspiracy and testify against the Leonards. She may also testify against Thompson.

Dion and Jennifer Longworth died in the blast. They were Shirley's neighbors. Several others were injured, and dozens of homes were damaged or destroyed.

Richmond Hill neighbors were surprised about the fifth arrest.

"I think I was mad this time, upsetting, because with the 4th I thought we were done with this," said neighbor Doug Aldridge. "This is never going to end, and now a 5th suspect. We haven't even gotten to the first trial yet, so it's surprising."

See all stories related to the Indianapolis south side explosion.