Indiana house explosion ringleader appeals murder conviction

FILE - In this July 10, 2013 file photo, Mark Leonard walks to a hearing in Indianapolis. Leonard, accused of planning a deadly 2012 home explosion that gutted an Indianapolis subdivision, faces 53 counts including charges of murder, arson, conspiracy to commit arson and conspiracy to commit insurance fraud. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings, File)
FILE - In this July 10, 2013 file photo, Mark Leonard walks to a hearing in Indianapolis. Leonard, accused of planning a deadly 2012 home explosion that gutted an Indianapolis subdivision, faces 53 counts including charges of murder, arson, conspiracy to commit arson and conspiracy to commit insurance fraud. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings, File)
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The attorney for a man serving a life prison term for a deadly Indianapolis house explosion told the Indiana Supreme Court that testimony about his alleged attempt to have a witness killed shouldn’t have been presented at trial.

Mark Leonard is appealing his convictions. His attorney Victoria Bailey told the justices Thursday that Leonard’s Sixth Amendment right to counsel was “lost and justice was not done” because his attorney wasn’t present when an undercover officer posing as a hit man questioned him.

Deputy Attorney General Andrew Kobe argued the trial court properly admitted Leonard’s statements to that undercover officer.

Leonard was convicted in the November 2012 natural gas explosion that destroyed his then-girlfriend’s home and killed two neighbors. He was sentenced to two life sentences without parole, plus 75 years.

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