Woman sentenced as teen to life in prison set to be paroled

August 8, 2022 GMT

MUSKEGON, Mich. (AP) — A western Michigan woman sentenced to life in prison as a 16-year-old is scheduled to be released from prison next month, a corrections spokesman said Monday.

Amy Lee Black, convicted of killing a Muskegon County man in 1990, is set to be paroled from the Women’s Huron Valley Correctional Facility the week of Sept. 4-10, Chris Gautz of the Michigan Department of Corrections, told The Muskegon Chronicle in an email.

Black, now 48, received a sentence reduction after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2012 that life sentences for juveniles were cruel and unusual punishment. She received a sentence of 35 to 60 years in August 2021.

The Michigan Parole Board recently approved her release after denying it once, Gautz said.

Black and her boyfriend, Jeffrey Abrahamson, then 19, killed 34-year-old Dave VanBogelen in 1990. She was tried as an adult and convicted of first-degree murder.

VanBogelen was bludgeoned, repeatedly stabbed, and left on a rural road in Fruitport Township. Black and Abrahamson also stole $1,500 from the man, court records show.

Muskegon County Circuit Judge William Marietti on July 2 ordered Black to pay $1.87 million in restitution to VanBogelen’s estate.

Barb VanBogelen, the victim’s wife, said she was “livid at this whole justice system. It has failed my family miserably.”