Ex-Correction Officer Charged In Long Island Woman's Beating Murder

December 10, 2018 - 4:14 pm

MINEOLA, N.Y. (WCBS 880) — A former city correction officer was arraigned Monday on attempted murder charges, for an attack on his former business partner.

Wearing an orange jail jumpsuit, former Correction Officer Ralph Keppler, 28, left the courtroom after the judge ordered him back to jail, believing him a flight risk.

The 28-year old is accused of putting a GPS device on Theresa Kiel's car, following her to her Long Beach apartment and crushing her skull with a barbell.

The 56-year-old victim went on to live for nearly two years in a vegetative state before passing in November.

Kiel was a teacher and many of her colleagues accompanied her family to court.

“The last time I met her, we were sitting in hospice taking care of a student whose family had basically rejected her, and we sat with her until she died. That’s the type of person that she was,” one colleague told WCBS 880.

Keppler and his girlfriend, the daughter of the victim, are accused of killing Kiel after a business deal involving a dating app went sour.

His DNA was found on the barbell, according to prosecutors.

They also say after the attack Keppler sent disturbing and vulgar text messages about how Kiel deserved what he did.

He was charged with second-degree attempted murder, two counts of first-degree assault and fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon in February.