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3 plead not guilty to murder in Indianapolis blast

INDIANAPOLIS – A judge has entered a not guilty plea on behalf of three people charged in an explosion that devastated an Indianapolis neighborhood, killing a couple.

A judge ordered homeowner Monserrate Shirley, her boyfriend, Mark Leonard, and his brother, Bob Leonard, held without bond during an initial court hearing Monday.

The three were arrested Friday on murder, arson and other charges following the Nov. 10 blast that killed John Dion Longworth and his wife, Jennifer Longworth. The explosion destroyed five houses and damaged dozens more.

Investigators said the three planned the explosion for an insurance payout. Court documents said Shirley faced $63,000 of credit-card debt and bankruptcy proceedings. Prosecutors said Mark Leonard recently lost $10,000 at a casino.

An attorney for Shirley said she and Mark Leonard maintain their innocence.

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