For Richmond Hill, healing begins

Olvey shares a hug with Gary Coons
Richmond Hill trial: Mark Leonard found GUILTY on all counts
For Richmond Hill, healing begins
For Richmond Hill, healing begins

Glenn Olvey stood in the Richmond Hill neighborhood Tuesday and shed tears as he reflected on a South Bend jury's guilty verdict.

"It's been a long time coming. It really has," he said.

Olvey's house is gone, but after hearing the verdict he returned to where he used to live just to help him process the news.

Well over two years after the November 2012 explosion that rocked this subdivision, the accused ringleader, Mark Leonard, was found guilty on all 53 counts, including four charges of murder, along with conspiracy to commit arson and insurance fraud, and numerous counts of arson.

Through tears, Olvey explained why he returned to his old neighborhood.

Mark Leonard found guilty on all counts

"I was actually downtown where I work and I just turned around and looked at everybody and said, 'I got to go,'" he said.

Olvey once lived here with his now ex-wife and their daughter, who were all surprised by the explosion.

"One that picks you up and throws you across the room and there is no noise, no warning, no nothing, and hearing your youngest daughter scream that she is bleeding and that she can't get out, and hearing my ex-wife trying to get out. If it weren't for the neighbors, we would not have survived. When they got her out of there the room she was in, the entire back wall was on fire," he said.

Olvey used to live right next door to Jennifer and Dion Longworth, who died in the explosion. He was also neighbors with Monserrate Shirley, who reached a plea deal with prosecutors in exchange for her testimony against Mark Leonard and his brother Bob Leonard.

For so many of Olvey's former neighbors, after months of waiting and wondering, they strongly believe this is the beginning of justice after having their lives turned upside down.

"I definitely think it was the right verdict and it makes me think about everybody in this community and it makes me think about the lives that were lost," said Robert Stevenson.

"Anybody who lived through that night in this neighborhood is stronger. There are going to be scars that never go away," said Olvey.

Richmond Hill residents say today's guilty verdict helps start the healing, even while knowing they still have more trials to come.

Olvey, meantime, praised emergency responders including homeland security director Gary Coons, whom he thanked with a huge hug.