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Agents testify homeowner increased insurance on house contents before deadly explosion


SOUTH BEND, Indiana — Insurance agents say the girlfriend of a man accused of blowing up an Indianapolis house nearly doubled the coverage for the contents of her home 11 months before the explosion that killed two neighbors.

State Farm independent contractor Steve Engle and his employee, Anita Robinson, testified Tuesday that Monserrate Shirley called to increase her insurance coverage to $300,000 in December 2011.

Robinson says Shirley told her she wanted more coverage because she had "bought a lot of stuff."

Engle and Robinson testified that Shirley's previous insurance would have paid the minimum 75 percent of the house valued at $212,000, or about $159,000.

Prosecutors allege Mark Leonard conspired with his half brother and Shirley to blow up the house in November 2011 and collect the insurance money to pay off debts.

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