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Defendant in Indiana house explosion to be sentenced

INDIANAPOLIS – A woman who was one of five people charged in a deadly Indianapolis house explosion is set for sentencing.

Fifty-one-year-old Monserrate Shirley will be sentenced during a two-day hearing that starts on Monday. Her home was destroyed in the November 2012 natural gas explosion that killed a couple who lived next door and destroyed or damaged more than 80 homes.

Prosecutors say that the house was destroyed in a scheme to collect $300,000 in insurance.

Shirley pleaded guilty to two counts of conspiracy to commit arson and agreed to testify against her ex-boyfriend, his half-brother and two others.

She faces a minimum of 20 years of conditional imprisonment with a probationary period of up to 50 years in prison.

Three other people have already been convicted. The last of five defendants to be sentenced Dec. 28.

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