Richmond Hill suspect, friend face insurance fraud charges

David Gill

One of the suspects in the south side explosion now faces more charges.

Mark Leonard is already charged with murder and arson after the November house explosion that killed a school teacher and her husband and damaged dozens of homes beyond repair.

Now 13 Investigates reveals new charges and how prosecutors are using Leonard's long-time friend to try and prove yet another case of insurance fraud.

At the center of the Richmond Hill explosion case, Mark Leonard is now facing new charges in another case. The new case links him to a pattern of alleged insurance fraud with his friend and business partner, David Gill.

Both are accused of conspiracy to commit insurance fraud in connection with a 2011 Harley-Davidson motorcycle. Prosecutors say Gill's ex-girlfriend reported the $25,000 dollar Harley stolen a month before the explosion.

But weeks later, she confided to insurance investigators doubts about the theft, saying she was scared of David Gill and "afraid for her life."

Prosecutors allege Gill actually sold the Harley to Mark Leonard and that Leonard had it chopped up for parts in Monserrate Shirley's garage.

It's not the first time the names of Leonard and Gill have surfaced in the same investigation. In fact, in documents filed in the Richmond Hill case witnesses told investigators the pair had been "conducting frauds" by making insurance claims for wrecked auto replacement parts like airbags.

But investigators have not named Gill a suspect in the Richmond Hill blast.

"I cannot speak to whether we have specific individuals as suspects in the explosion case, but clearly there's an ongoing active investigation," said Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry when questioned about Gill.

We asked David Gill himself about any possible connections to the explosion as he returned from court on the motorcycle insurance fraud case.

13 Investigates asked, "Do you have anything to do with the Richmond Hill case?"

"Come on, they know I didn't...yeah, talk to the sergeant, he'll tell you," said Gill.

In court documents on Richmond Hill, investigators say Gill's ex-girlfriend also told police she needed money to renovate her home and that Gill said "she could burn the house down and collect the insurance on it" and that "he has done it before so it would work"

The girlfriend reported after the explosion, "Gill came asking for $500 for a lawyer."

13 Investigates asked Leonard about allegedly telling his girlfriend to set fire to her house.

Gill responded, "Not my girlfriend."

Again, prosecutors have not charged Gill in connection with the southside explosion, but are using the information involving Gill to show an alleged pattern of insurance fraud against Mark Leonard.

Prosecutors say Leonard, his girlfriend Monserrate Shirley and his brother Bob were looking to collect $300,000 dollars in insurance money when they blew up Shirley's home back in November.

Another court hearing will be held for Mark Leonard next week to amend the charges against him.