Judge orders suspect in fatal barbell beating held without bail

Posted: Updated:
MINEOLA -

A judge on Monday ordered one of the suspects in the fatal barbell beating of Theresa Kiel to be held without bail until his trial begins.

Ralph Keppler and the victim's daughter, Francesca Kiel, are accused of targeting the Long Beach woman, even going as far as to track her with a GPS device. In December 2016, prosecutors say Keppler used a barbell to attack Theresa Kiel, who spent nearly two years in a vegetative state before dying of her injuries.

Prosecutors quoted text messages from Keppler to friends, including one that read in part, "That (expletive) is gonna end up dead."

Nassau Assistant District Attorney Michael Walsh says there is overwhelming evidence linking Keppler to the slaying.

"There is video showing the perpetrator going behind a building. A barbell was found behind that building, with the victim's blood on it, and DNA that matches a DNA profile of that of Ralph Keppler," Walsh says.

Keppler's attorney, Marc Gann, says his client was set up.

The charges against Keppler and Francesa Kiel were upgraded to second-degree murder after Theresa Kiel succumbed to her injuries last month.

Last week, a judge ordered Francesa Kiel free on $1.5 million bail.

  • NewsMore>>

  • NY's Department of Education adjusts Regents requirements for graduation

    NY's Department of Education adjusts Regents requirements for graduation

    Tuesday, April 7 2020 5:23 PM EDT2020-04-07 21:23:29 GMT
    The state Department of Education has announced that high school students who would have taken the June Regents exam will not need it to graduate.
    The state Department of Education has announced that high school students who would have taken the June Regents exam will not need it to graduate.
  • NYC virus deaths exceed 4,000, topping toll for 9/11 attacks

    NYC virus deaths exceed 4,000, topping toll for 9/11 attacks

    Tuesday, April 7 2020 12:59 AM EDT2020-04-07 04:59:44 GMT
    Tuesday, April 7 2020 10:49 PM EDT2020-04-08 02:49:42 GMT
    (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio). This photo shows a hospital bed in one of the temporary rooms at the TCF Center, Monday, April 6, 2020, in Detroit. The city's convention center was converted to accommodate an overflow of patients with the coronavirus. The U....(AP Photo/Carlos Osorio). This photo shows a hospital bed in one of the temporary rooms at the TCF Center, Monday, April 6, 2020, in Detroit. The city's convention center was converted to accommodate an overflow of patients with the coronavirus. The U....
    (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio). This photo shows a hospital bed in one of the temporary rooms at the TCF Center, Monday, April 6, 2020, in Detroit. The city's convention center was converted to accommodate an overflow of patients with the coronavirus. The U....(AP Photo/Carlos Osorio). This photo shows a hospital bed in one of the temporary rooms at the TCF Center, Monday, April 6, 2020, in Detroit. The city's convention center was converted to accommodate an overflow of patients with the coronavirus. The U....
    British Prime Minister Boris Johnson remains in intensive care for treatment of his coronavirus illness, while authorities in New York are hoping that a leveling off of deaths and new hospitalizations will hold and...
    British Prime Minister Boris Johnson remains in intensive care for treatment of his coronavirus illness, while authorities in New York are hoping that a leveling off of deaths and new hospitalizations will hold and signal that the epicenter of the U.S. outbreak had turned a corner.
  • MTA distributes masks, PPE to employees

    MTA distributes masks, PPE to employees

    Tuesday, April 7 2020 10:32 PM EDT2020-04-08 02:32:30 GMT
    MTA distributes masks, PPE to employeesMTA distributes masks, PPE to employees
    MTA distributes masks, PPE to employeesMTA distributes masks, PPE to employees
    Essential LIRR workers are getting the protection they need during the pandemic.
    Essential LIRR workers are getting the protection they need during the pandemic.
sorry to interrupt
your first 20 are free
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please enjoy 20 complimentary views of articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.
you have reached your 20 view limit
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please login or create an account to continue enjoying News12.
Our sign-up page is undergoing maintenance and is not currently available. However, you will be given direct access to news12.com while we complete our upgrade.
When we are back up and running you will be prompted at that time to complete your sign in. Until then, enjoy the local news, weather, traffic and more that's "as local as local news gets."