A former New York City correction officer and his girlfriend were charged with second-degree murder in the 2016 beating of the woman’s mother on Long Island — after the woman died of her injuries over the weekend, cops said.
Theresa Kiel, 56, was viciously beaten outside her Long Beach apartment in December 2016. She had remained in a coma ever since, her skull crushed by a barbell, her right eye gone — until she succumbed to her injuries Saturday, according to police.
Ralph Keppler, 27, a former jail guard who lives in Lynbrook, had previously been charged with attempted murder and assault, cops said. He pleaded not guilty.
After the older woman’s death, his charges were upgraded to second-degree murder — and the victim’s daughter, Francesca Kiel, 21, also of Lynbrook, was slapped with the same charge.
Court documents filed by the family and obtained by The Post earlier this year claim that Keppler had Francesca “under his control as a financial, emotional and sexual hostage.”
The family alleged that Keppler monitors the young woman’s phone and email, forces her to claim her mother prostituted her, made her get breast implants and throws her out of their car if she fails to recite a list of all “the bad things her mother ever did to her.”
The claims came to light in Nassau state court, where Keppler has accused Theresa Kiel and her son, Vincent, of swindling him.
The teacher and her son took $65,000 from Keppler for a dating app they were supposed to be developing, but instead blew the cash on weight-loss surgery, a luxury car and “bicep-enhancement surgery,” hair salons, auto shops, groceries and clothes, Keppler claimed in court papers.
An attorney has called the accusations about Francesca’s treatment bogus.
“It’s all been discredited,” Jim Druker said last month.
The fraud case is ongoing. The judge in December dismissed the Kiels’ accusations about Keppler and Francesca.
Keppler was home with his family during the attack, Druker has said.
Both are expected to be arraigned Monday.
With Post wires
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