Preliminary hearing waived for man charged in deadly assault at Lexington parking garage

Posted at 10:28 AM, Nov 02, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-02 10:28:34-04

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — A preliminary hearing was waived Tuesday for a man who allegedly beat another man to death inside a Lexington parking garage.

39-year-old Benjamin Call has been charged with the murder of 31-year-old John Tyler “Ty” Abner. He has pleaded not guilty. The case will now be sent to the grand jury.

The murder happened Monday evening inside the parking garage on West Short Street. According to police, they arrived at the scene and saw Abner being attacked. Fayette County Coroner, Gary Ginn pronounced Abner dead at the scene, and Ginn believes the cause was “blunt force,” but an autopsy will be conducted to determine an official cause of death.

Abner, we’re told by an employee of Pies and Pints, the downtown Lexington pizza restaurant had completed a shift there and had just met Call that day. The two spent some time together before leaving. The employee said they seemed to be enjoying each other’s company. Co-workers of Abner’s were clearly devastated by the news.

Call's arrest citation says he "caused the death of the person by striking [Abner] repeatedly with hands and feet until they had killed the victim." It also says the homicide was captured on surveillance video.

LEX 18 spoke with a relative of Abner’s who wrote: “Tyler was the kindest person you could ever meet. My heart breaks for his husband and daughter. My whole family is devastated by this loss,” said his aunt, Teresa Hart.

Others who knew Mr. Abner declined to comment, but his husband, John, provided media outlets with a picture of Ty.

Police haven’t shared a motive for the attack, and it’s still unsure if they uncovered a reason for the altercation.