INDIANAPOLIS — An Indianapolis man whom family of the victim said “lured” his fiancée to a home on W. 33rd Street in order to “execute her” will serve more than half a century in prison for his crime.
Kendale Abel was found guilty of murder on June 8, nearly two years to the day from when he shot and killed his 29-year-old fiancée, Ashley Richardson, on July 9, 2020. On Monday, Abel was sentenced to 60 years in the Indiana Department of Correction.
But even 60 years behind bars may bring little comfort to the sisters of Ashley Richardson who previously told FOX59 that their sister may still be alive if Abel had been kept behind bars in the first place instead of released from jail on GPS monitoring after beating Ashley with a hammer.
“The whole system was designed for failure in this case,” Kaylia Richardson previously said.
“Who is responsible for that? The courts failed my sister. Justice failed my sister,” said Chanel Richardson.
Police were called to the home on W. 33rd Street on June 9, early in the morning, where they found Ashley Richardson shot to death. Abel was quickly arrested and charged with her murder.
The Marion County Prosecutor’s Office said that Abel originally tried to sell the police on a story that he’d shot Ashley by accident while trying to commit suicide. He claimed he missed while trying to kill himself and shot Ashley by mistake.
But Ashley was shot multiple times, according to an autopsy. Once in the head and once in the chest. Abel told police he’d accidentally shot her again when he went to check on her and still had the gun in his hand, but authorities didn’t buy his tale.
Ashley’s sister believe Abel lured Ashley back to the house with the intention to kill her, knowing that if he left the house his GPS monitor would have alerted authorities.
“He lured her there and he executed her,” said Chanel Richardson. “He took her from us. There is no redo.”
Court records show that only a week before Ashley’s murder Abel was released on bond and put on GPS monitoring after being charged with domestic battery with a deadly weapon.
“My sister had bruises down the back of her body and on her head. Literally, she got beat with a hammer,” said Kaylia Richardson.
The sisters believe Ashley had gone to the home she once shared with Abel in order to break up with her fiancé. Instead, Abel finished what he had started on May 2, 2020, when he beat her with the hammer.
“Everyone knows how it works,” Chanel said. “A woman nine times out of 10 are gonna go back to the men, and then something like this happens.”
Ashley’s death at the hands of a man previously arrested for assaulting her led to a FOX59 investigation into the effectiveness of Marion County’s electronic monitoring program. The investigation found Abel wasn’t the only person found to be out of jail on electric monitoring while arrested and charged for a new crime. He wasn’t even the only person on GPS monitoring to commit murder.
“There’s always the chance that someone will be out on bond and commit some horrific offense,” Marion County Superior Court Judge Mark Stoner said. “That’s always the judge’s nightmare.”
In some cases, Stoner said judges don’t get enough information about a subject’s past before having to weigh in on the decision about whether to let them bond out on electric monitoring.
“The decision we’re making is largely based on information that we’re getting on paper,” Stoner explained. “We’re getting a probable cause affidavit that’s written by a police officer. We’re looking at a criminal history that is just a title and a result where we don’t know the facts of individual cases.”
Stoner said Marion County Community Corrections and pre-trial services need more funding for data collection to determine how successful the programs are at rehabilitating people. But the solutions to the system can’t come soon enough for families like the Richardsons.
“How is this protecting people?” Chanel asked.