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Thursday, June 04, 2015

Ind. Courts - A look at the chief prosecutor and defense counsel in the Richmond Hill explosion trial

Updating these two ILB posts from Feb. 2014, the trial of Mark Leonard has since been moved to a South Bend courtroom. Today Robert King has a long story in the Indianapolis Star, headed "For Richmond Hill explosion attorneys, summer must wait as trial takes center stage," featuring Marion County Deputy Prosecutor Denise Robinson, and Diane Black, Chief Trial Deputy in the Marion County Public Defender Agency. From the story:

Robinson, the lead prosecutor, will be attempting to prove to a St. Joseph County jury that 46-year-old Mark Leonard was responsible for the 2012 scheme to blow up his girlfriend's house for insurance money — a calamity that killed two people and injured others, damaged scores of homes and forever changed the Richmond Hill neighborhood on Indianapolis' Southeastside.

Black, the lead public defender, will attempt to show jurors a different narrative of the case, one that could spare her client — one of five people charged in connection to the explosion and the first to go to trial — from a potential life sentence in prison.

Because of two years plus of media coverage in Indianapolis, a judge moved the case to St. Joseph County — South Bend — in hopes of finding 12 jurors who can bring an open mind to the case. As a result, both attorneys and their respective teams have moved their workplaces to South Bend for the duration of the case. Black's defense team moved last week; Robinson's prosecution team over the weekend. Both teams are now living and working out of hotels.

Their efforts moved into the courtroom Wednesday for some final pre-trial housekeeping and resumes Thursday for jury selection.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on June 4, 2015 10:26 AM
Posted to Indiana Courts