Short Street beating suspect pleads not guilty to murder

Posted at 4:31 PM, Oct 27, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-27 17:11:00-04

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — A murder suspect has entered a not guilty plea after he allegedly beat another man to death.

Benjamin Call is being detained at the Fayette County Detention Center after being charged with the murder of 31-year-old John Tyler “Ty” Abner. He made his first appearance in court Wednesday and pleaded not guilty.

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.

Call will be back in court on November 2nd. His bond remains $750,000.