Richmond Hill explosion suspect denied request to represent himself

Bob Leonard

One month before going to trial, Richmond Hill explosion suspect Bob Leonard asked an Allen County judge to dismiss his attorneys and let him represent himself.

He's upset his trial was moved to Fort Wayne and claims he is not being informed about his own case.

"I would like to see all of the evidence against me before I go to trial," said Leonard. "It's been three years, I get to see it five minutes to ten minutes. I have to worry about evidence being taken by another inmate. I'm trying to defend myself," he explained.

We asked Leonard's attorney Ted Minch if he could elaborate on the allegations.  

"No, nothing more than we said in court," said Minch who told the court thousands of documents had been shared with Bob Leonard.

"So you have shown him the information?," asked Eyewitness News reporter Sandra Chapman.

"Absolutely," responded Minch.

Leonard says he's concerned the case against him is based on what his brother did. Mark Leonard is now serving two life sentences plus 75 years for planning the explosion that killed Dion and Jennifer Longworth and damaged hundreds of homes in the Richmond Hill subdivision.

RELATED: Mark Leonard found guilty in Richmond Hill explosion

"We would not be going forward with a case if we didn't have evidence against Bob Leonard," said Denise Robinson, Chief Deputy Prosecutor for Marion County.

Witnesses tell prosecutors they saw Bob Leonard at the scene of Monserrate Shirley's home the day of the blast. The prosecution will also get to use Bob Leonard's own words against him. Judge Fran Gull ruled statements made to police during questioning will be allowed.

"There are some admissions in terms of acting together with his brother," revealed Robinson, who said Bob Leonard's case will include the same victim and scientific evidence.

Robinson told Eyewitness News she has no knowledge of the issues between Leonard and his attorneys.    

In the end, Judge Gull denied Leonard's request to represent himself.

"It is on the record that you object to that. It is on the record that you feel like your rights are violated," said Gull.

Judge Gull told Bob Leonard his attorneys were ready for trial, prosecutors were ready for trial, and for him to get ready as well with jury selection beginning January 19.

Full coverage of Richmond Hill explosion