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Long Island Woman Admits To Role In Murdering Her Mother, DA Says

Francesca Kiel
Francesca Kiel Photo Credit: NCPD

A 23-year-old woman has admitted to her role in killing her mother with her boyfriend in 2016.

Lynbrook resident Francesca Kiel pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter after attacking her mother, Theresa Kiel in December 2016 with boyfriend Ralph Keppler.

Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas said that Theresa Kiel and Keppler had been involved in a business dispute when he attacked her at her New York Avenue apartment in Long Beach at approximately 10:30 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 4, 2016.

Once inside the entrance corridor of the apartment complex, she was attacked by Keppler and struck several times on the head and face with a metal barbell. Kiel suffered severe brain damage, a shattered skull, a depressed right eye, and lost teeth.

Theresa Kiel was transported to South Nassau Communities Hospital in a vegetative state, where she remained until she died on Nov. 10, 2018. Following the attack, Keppler fled and returned to the Lynbrook home he shared with Francesca Kiel.

Singas said that prior to the murder, Francesca Kiel purchased a GPS tracking device that was placed on her mother’s vehicle. She set up email alerts that notified her when her mother’s car was in the vicinity of her mother’s home or place of work to help monitor here whereabouts for Keppler.

Francesca Kiel also called a Long Beach taxi company on the night of the murder, the same taxi company that picked up Keppler in the vicinity of the murder scene.

Keppler, who worked as a New York City correction officer, was arrested at Rikers Island by members of the Long Beach Police Department on Jan. 24, 2018 on attempted murder charges, which were upgraded when Theresa Kiel passed away.

Francesca Kiel was arrested on Nov. 11, 2018. Keppler has since been fired from the Department of Corrections.

After the initial arrest of Keppler, the District Attorney’s office and the Long Beach Police Department continued the investigation and it revealed Francesca Kiel’s involvement.

“The shocking murder of Theresa Keil was made all the more horrific by her daughter’s involvement, helping her boyfriend Ralph Keppler track her mother by GPS, and calling the cab in which he fled after crushing her skull with a barbell,” Singas said.

Kiel is due back in court on Wednesday, Sept. 9, when she is expected to receive a sentence of 13 years in prison.

‘Our investigators worked seamlessly with the DA’s office on one of the most complex and challenging cases I have seen and secured convictions on both defendants,” acting Long Beach Police Commissioner Philip Ragona stated while highlighting some of the investigators who worked on the case.

“I also commend the tireless efforts of Det. Lt. Stefan Chernaski, Lt. William Dodge, Det. Ted Christianson, the entire LBPD Detective Division, Det. Joe Brady from NCPD electronics, Senior Assistant District Attorney Stefanie Palma and Bureau Chief Michael Walsh of the NCDA’s Major Offense Bureau.”    

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