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Indianapolis man sentenced in murder of fiancée while out on pre-trial release

Kendale Abel was sentenced to 60 years in the murder of Ashley Richardson.

INDIANAPOLIS — An Indianapolis man, whose arrest for the killing of his fiancée sparked outrage over pre-trial releases of suspects charged in violent crimes, was sentenced to 60 years for the murder. 

(NOTE: The video above is from previous report when 13 Investigates looked into a spike in violent crime.)

Kendale Abel was found guilty in June for the murder of Ashley Richardson. Richardson, 29, was found shot and killed in a home on the city's east side on June 9, 2020.

Police had arrested Abel just a few weeks before for allegedly attacking Richardson with a hammer in a domestic dispute. Abel faced four charges, including domestic battery with a deadly weapon. 

Credit: IMPD
Kendale Abel

RELATED: Police union president calls for reform to pre-trial release procedures

He posted bail and left jail with a GPS electronic ankle monitor.

"You're telling me my sister's life was worth $2,000. Just about anybody can come up with $2,000," Chanel Richardson said.

Credit: Chanel Richardson
Ashley Richardson

RELATED: Critics claim 'broken system' to blame for Indy's spike in violent crime

Abel's release before the murder raised questions and criticism of the pre-trial release program.

"We're very cognizant of critics who say, 'Hey that's the police just advocating to lock everybody up and throw away the key.' Nothing could be further from the truth," said FOP President Rick Snyder in 2021. "When you're talking about low-level, first-time offenders, sure, we welcome alternatives and providing resources and engagement that actually gets that person charted on a new course, but I think most any reasonable person would agree that if you have folks who are repeatedly committing acts of violence ... just releasing them is not working and keeping them locked up could not only save the lives of innocent victims but quite frankly the offender themselves."

NOTE: This story contained a mugshot that was not of Kendale Abel. That image has been removed and the correct image added.

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