Skip to main content

Indiana Man Who Claimed to Shoot Fiancée When He Missed Shooting Himself Is Sentenced to Decades in Prison

Kendale Abel Jr.

Kendale Abel Jr. in a 2020 WXIN report.

A murder defendant must serve a total of 60 years in prison for killing his fiancée.

Kendale Abel Jr. was convicted in June. Authorities have said he claimed to fatally shoot Ashley Richardson, 29, when he was trying to die by suicide but missed.

At his sentencing on Monday, deputy prosecutor Katie Melnick said Richardson sustained two gunshot wounds, according to The Indianapolis Star. One to the head and the other to the chest. Either would have been fatal. Richardson was “executed.” With multiple bullet casings at the scene, Abel Jr. “literally sprayed bullets at a sitting duck,” Melnick said.

Abel told a more complicated story, cops said. He claimed he had the gun to his head when he pulled the trigger and missed, according to the affidavit obtained by WXIN. This struck Richardson as she sat on bed. He checked on her but the gun in his hand went off again, according to his version of events.

“Abel then stated he attempted to shot himself a second time, but missed again,” cops said.

“How can you accidentally shoot someone twice?” Chanel Richardson, one of Ashley’s sisters, told WXIN in the June 2020 report. “He shot her in the head and the chest. There’s no accident there.  That’s an execution.”

This June 9, 2020 killing followed about a month after Abel was accused of beating Ashley with a hammer, leaving her with a laceration and bruises.

Abel opted for a bench trial. Marion Superior Judge Angela Davis convicted him in June of this year. Prosecutors agreed to drop the hammer-related domestic battery on Monday, but Judge Davis noted that Abel was subject to a “no contact” order separating him from Ashley while out on bond prior to the killing, according to the Star. He violated it during the murder, she said.

“He lured her there and he executed her,” Chanel told WXIN. “He took her from us. There is no redo.”

“He abused Ashley, he made bail and then he went out and murdered her,” Melnick said on Monday, according to the Star.

In seeking a short sentence for Abel, the defense reportedly asserted that this was a “toxic relationship that had a toxic outcome,” and that Richardson made a “strong provocation” before the shooting. The defense also asserted that Abel had unresolved mental health challenges during the murder and has since taken medication.

This did not move Davis, who noted that Abel was written up twice for fights in jail since his arrest. Both happened after he went on medication, she said.

“I don’t believe that you’ve learned your lesson,” she said.

Ashley’s family mourned her. Her brother Leonard Richardson on Monday said her death weakened the relationship among the siblings and subjected the family to mental health stress, according to the Star.

“Ashley was kinda like the glue,” he said.

“It’s never going to go away,” Chanel previously told WXIN. “I can never talk to my sister again.”

[Screenshot via WXIN]

Have a tip we should know? [email protected]

Filed Under:

Follow Law&Crime: