Residents of an Indianapolis subdivision where a house explosion damaged or destroyed more than 80 homes described confusion as they struggled to comprehend what had happened.
Ben Melvin told jurors hearing the trial of 46-year-old Mark Leonard that he was in bed when he heard a loud boom that knocked him to the floor. He said his window had been blown out and insulation, debris and smoke were pouring in.
Melvin said he ran down the street and kicked in the door of a house next to the one that exploded and found the homeowner disoriented inside.
Melvin was among 10 people testifying Thursday.
Elizabeth Kelley told jurors Thursday she saw Monserrate Shirley crying in a car with Mark Leonard after the explosion that killed two people and damaged or destroyed more than 80 homes. Kelley testified Shirley said she was upset because neighbors were saying “horrible things” about her.
Kelley says she told Shirley she was sorry and asked if she could pray with her.
Shirley has agreed to plead guilty to two counts of conspiracy to commit arson and to testify against Leonard and three others. About 175 witnesses are expected to testify in Leonard's trial on murder, arson, and other charges in the 2012 explosion that killed a married couple.