Woman’s life sentence reduced in Michigan man’s 1990 slaying

Michigan

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MUSKEGON, Mich. (AP) — A woman sentenced to life in prison three decades ago for her role in the robbery and killing of a Michigan man slain when she was 16 has received a reduced sentence.

A Muskegon County judge on Wednesday cut Amy Lee Black’s life sentence to 35 to 60 years in prison. She has already served 30 years in prison, The Detroit New s reported.

Black, 47, and her boyfriend, Jeffrey Abrahamson, 50, were convicted of first-degree murder and armed robbery for the Dec. 7, 1990, killing of Dave VanBogelen, a 34-year-old who was bludgeoned, stabbed and left on a rural Muskegon County road.

Both Black and Abrahamson were sentenced to life in prison without parole. But Black, who was 16 at the time of the crime, was entitled to a review of her case after the U.S. Supreme Court found mandatory life sentences without parole for juveniles were cruel and unusual punishment.

Abrahamson, who was 19 when VanBogelen was slain, is not eligible for a reduced sentence.

Victim impact statements delivered Wednesday by VanBogelen’s wife, daughter and mother-in-law urged the judge to issue the maximum sentence of 60 years. 

Barb VanBogelen said it was “beyond cruel” to be in the court again three decades after Black was first sentenced in her husband’s slaying. She said the killing made her a single parent to two young children.

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