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Judge rules life imprisonment possible for man convicted in deadly Indianapolis explosion


SOUTH BEND, Indiana — A judge says he's still considering life imprisonment without parole for a man convicted of causing a house explosion that devastated an Indianapolis subdivision and killed a couple living next door.

A St. Joseph County judge issued a ruling Monday in which he rejected arguments from defense attorneys that 46-year-old Mark Leonard shouldn't face a life sentence for his convictions on murder, arson and other charges from the November 2012 explosion.

Judge John Marnocha wrote he was awaiting a pre-sentencing report before ruling on Leonard's fate. His sentencing hearing is scheduled for Friday in South Bend.

Prosecutors have said they expect Leonard to spend rest of his life in prison. A 45-year term is the minimum sentence Leonard can receive on each of the two murder conviction.

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