2/13/23 UPDATE: Richard Rybolt was sentenced to 110 years in the Indiana Department of Correction.
INDIANAPOLIS — An Indianapolis man has been found guilty of stabbing an ex-girlfriend and her 3-year-old daughter multiple times in the head with a steak knife before stealing her car and driving away with the child and her grandfather still inside.
On Tuesday, a jury found Richard Rybolt guilty of two counts of attempted murder, criminal recklessness and kidnapping with a deadly weapon along with one count of aggravated battery. He was also found guilty of being a habitual offender, which can lengthen his sentence.
Rybolt is set to be sentenced on Feb. 13. and faces between 20 to 40 years in prison on a single count of attempted murder alone.
According to court documents, Rybolt’s ex-girlfriend and her father told police that they had been collecting items from a home on E. 17th Street on March 27, 2020. The woman decided to take a nap in the car with her 3-year-old daughter while her father gathered belongings from the home.
The woman told police at some point she awoke from her nap and noticed Rybolt was sitting next to her in the passenger seat. According to the woman’s father, he got into the backseat of the car after noticing Rybolt in the passenger seat. The former couple began to argue before Rybolt allegedly pulled the woman’s head into his lap by her ponytail and repeatedly stabbed her in the head with a black-handled steak knife.
Both witnesses told police that the ex-girlfriend’s father struggled with Rybolt allowing her to escape out of the vehicle. Rybolt then reportedly ran around to the backseat and stabbed the 3-year-old girl, who was in her car seat, several times before he jumped in the driver’s seat and took off with both the child and her grandfather still in the car.
The grandfather of the 3-year-old told police that Rybolt swung the knife around while driving wildly, striking hills and curbs and veering into oncoming traffic while also striking parked cars. The grandfather said he was “knocked around” around in the backseat and, at one point, the child was thrown from the car seat and onto the center console after Rybolt struck something. Rybolt reportedly tried to stab the child again, but the grandfather claimed to have stopped him.
Court documents detail that Rybolt ended up striking a light pole, though the grandfather claimed Rybolt had been attempting to collide with another car head-on.
A police report details that Rybolt crashed the car in the 1200 block of S. Sherman Avenue and had been attempting to flee from officers.
Court documents reveal that the 3-year-old child was stabbed multiple times in the head, including suffering an 8 cm “gaping laceration” to the right side of her skull. She required several sutures.
The child’s mother suffered nine lacerations to her head and neck area along with suffering stab wounds to her hand and wrist requiring tendon repair. A nurse said the woman would have died had she not used her left hand to block some of the knife attacks.
When police later spoke to the woman, she told officers how she had dated Rybolt five years ago but broke up with him because he “cannot stay out of jail.”
She also reportedly told police that the steak knife Rybolt used to stab her and her daughter was a knife “he got from her a few days prior,” according to the documents. Rybolt reportedly believed that “people are trying to get him” and stabbed knives up through the floor of his house to try and stop them.
Court records reveal Rybolt had a prior conviction for domestic battery in 2012.