Long Island woman sentenced to 13 years in prison for role in attack that led to mother’s death

Francesca Kiel
Photo credit NCDA
By WCBS Newsradio 880

MINEOLA, N.Y. (WCBS 880) — A 23-year-old Lynbrook woman was sentenced on Thursday to 13 years in prison for her role in an attack that resulted in the death of her mother. 

Francesca Kiel, who pleaded guilty to the attack in July, helped to plan the 2016 attack on her mother, Theresa Kiel, with her boyfriend, Ralph Keppler.

"Francesca Kiel and her boyfriend meticulously planned the attack and murder of her own mother, Theresa Kiel, in December 2016," Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas said in a statement. "This was a particularly challenging investigation, because the co-defendants had worked hard to cover their tracks both before and after the attack. Thanks to extraordinary detective work from the Long Beach and Nassau County police departments, we unraveled this case and brought Theresa's killer to justice. Our condolences are with Theresa's mother and brother, as well her many friends and coworkers in the Malverne school system."

On Dec. 4, 2016, Keppler, a former city correction officer, beat Theresa with a metal barbell outsider her Long Beach home. It was later revealed he had used a GPS device to follow Theresa’s vehicle and that Kiel had purchased the tracking device. 

The 23-year-old had also set up email alerts to tell her when the vehicle was on the move.

Singas said that Theresa, Kiel and Keppler were involved in a business dispute at the time of the attack.

Theresa did not die immediately from the violent beating and went on to live for nearly two years in a vegetative state before passing in November 2018. She was 56.

Kiel was convicted of first-degree manslaughter in the death on Thursday. Keppler pleaded guilty in December 2019 to second-degree murder, second-degree conspiracy and fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon. He was sentenced to 22 years to life in prison.

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