Woman who was convicted of murder and sentenced to life without parole has just been granted parole

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MUSKEGON, MI – According to reports, after nearly 32 years in prison, Amy Lee Black, who was sentenced to life as a juvenile after being convicted of killing a Muskegon County man in 1990, has been granted parole and is set to be released in September.

In 2012, the United States Supreme Court ruled that a mandatory life sentence violated the Eight Amendment, cruel and unusual punishment for a juvenile. The new precedent required juveniles to be re-sentenced.

Black was 16-years-old when she and her boyfriend Jeffrey Abrahamson, who was 19-years-old, killed 34-year-old Dave VanBogelen. Black was tried as an adult, convicted of first-degree murder, and was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

In 2021, Black received a sentence reduction and was granted parole based on a ruling by the state’s Parole Board.

Black, who is now 48 years old, is scheduled to be paroled from the Women’s Huron Valley Correctional Facility the week of September 4-10. In an email to MLive, Chris Gautz, spokesperson for the Michigan Department of Correction (MDOC), confirmed this information.

According to the MDOC, in August 2021, Black received a reduced sentence of 35-60 years, instead of life without the possibility of parole. At the time, her earliest date of release was March 2, 2020. In reference to Black’s parole, Gautz wrote:

“She was a juvenile lifer and her crime occurred in 1990 so it predates the state’s Truth in Sentencing Law, so she would have been eligible for disciplinary credits or good time.

She was re-sentenced in August of last year and because of good time credits she became immediately eligible for parole.”

He added:

“Between last August and now, she was denied once and deferred twice before being granted parole.”

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On December 7, 1990, Black and Abrahamson committed armed robbery and ended up murdering VanBogelen. The victim was bludgeoned, repeatedly stabbed, and left on a rural road in Fruitport Township. Black and her boyfriend also stole $1,500 from the man.

Court records show that Black was ordered to pay $1.87 million in restitution to the victim or victim’s estate. During a July 29th hearing, Muskegon County Circuit Judge William C. Marietti made the restitution ruling.

It was during this hearing that the VanBogelen family learned of Black’s pending release from prison. Barb VanBogelen, the victim’s wife, told MLive that her family was yet to be informed by any agency of Black’s release. She said:

“We found out by her sitting there with her smug face and blurting it out in court. I am livid at this whole justice system. It has failed my family miserably. She doesn’t deserve to be out … she is a cold-blooded killer.”

The wife said that if she every encountered Black, she would have one thing to say:

“I’d tell her she’s going to rot in hell one day and karma’s a bitch.”

Amanda VanBogelen, the victim’s daughter added:

“We weren’t supposed to deal with this anymore. We weren’t supposed to worry about it anymore. It was supposed to be done.”

To this day, the pain and agony Black has caused the VanBogelen family still lingers. The wife said that what she and her children went through, she shouldn’t have had to do it by herself. She added:

“I had to walk in the door and look at both of my kids and tell them, ‘Daddy’s died. Daddy’s not coming home.’ That’s hard.”

The VanBogelens said that the state’s Parole Board has had “zero communication” with them about Black’s pending parole. Gautz said in a statement:

“Sadly this does come up from time to time with older crimes and victims or their remaining living relatives are unaware. As for the notification, all registered victims receive notification. It is possible that because the crime occurred so long ago, the system was not set up then.”

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Welcome to California: Former Mexican mafia killer, drug dealer and rapist given parole

July 23rd, 2022

SACRAMENTO, CA – Parole officials in California have announced the pending release of former Mexican Mafia gang leader Rene “Boxer” Enriquez.

The release comes after his alleged cooperation with law enforcement officials in other criminal investigations.

Enriquez’s criminal career started in his late teens when he was first arrested for several armed robberies. Enriquez would go on to commit rapes, and drug sales, and be convicted of two murders which left him a sentence of life in prison.

Despite his criminal history, local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies have rushed to his aide requesting that he be paroled for his part in multiple criminal investigations.

Enriquez has been credited by law enforcement for stopping a murder-for-hire plot, providing information that helped them figure out the inner workings of violent gangs in the state prison system, and enabling them to get convictions and lengthy prison sentences for drug dealers.

However, despite the many years that Enriquez has been up for parole, every governor who was in office at the time denied the request.

Not necessarily because he is a convicted murderer with a violent past, but because they believed that he was in danger by those he has helped be sentenced to prison for their criminal offenses, something that his attorney, Laura Sheppard, said they cannot do.

She said:

“They can’t deny him parole based on, ‘He might be in danger.’ That’s kind of his risk to take.”

Law enforcement officials do not believe there is any risk that Enriquez will return to his violent criminal past and are hoping that he is right, that the gang members will not exact revenge on him when he is freed.

Sheppard said:

“With his [Enriquez] knowledge of the mafia, it’s his belief that if he stays out of their way…that he’ll be fine. He doesn’t believe they’re going to chase him down like you see in the movies, hunt him throughout the world.”

When asked why Enriquez has changed teams from criminals to that of law enforcement, she said that is how he believes he is making amends to those that he has victimized over his lifetime. She said:

“It’s how he makes amends. He’s probably prevented more crimes than he was ever involved in.”

While Sheppard and some members of law enforcement believe that Enriquez has changed his ways, others, like the parents of Cynthia Gavaldon, who he ordered killed in 1989, feel otherwise.

Gavaldon’s father, Raymond Figueroa, called Enriquez a “monster” who “has nothing to offer.” He said:

“All he ever has known and touched has died.”

Enriquez ordered Gavaldon killed because he suspected she had been stealing drugs from him, something that her son, who has not been named, believes he can never atone for:

“Nothing can make up for that, regardless of any other people he’s put away or things he’s offered to law enforcement. Nothing can repay what he’s done.”

Gavaldon was a 27-year-old mother of two when Enriquez ordered she be killed on Christmas Eve in 1989. Her lifeless body was found in a vacant lot in Boyle Heights.

Enriquez would later admit to the parole board that he was the one who ordered her to be killed.

Enriquez’s second murder conviction came shortly after Gavaldon’s body was found.

Enriquez admitted that he and another member of his gang had intentionally overdosed David Gallegos who was a fellow gang member.

They did so because they considered him a coward for supposedly running from some type of fight.

After they overdosed Gallegos, they sat him up in a car and drove past another member of the gang to show that they were taking care of the coward.

They drove his body Gallegos away and Enriquez later shot him in the head even though he was believed to be dead already.

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Officers fatally shoot murderer who was out on parole, threatened cops with knife then barricaded himself in a motel room

AURORA, CO – According to reports, the Aurora Police Department (APD) confirmed that a 51-year-old man who was on parole and who barricaded himself at the Ranger Motel on Colfax Avenue, was fatally shot by police after he threatened officers with a knife.

 

The Aurora Fire Department was called to a fire in room 47 at the motel and when firefighters arrived, they reported that they were confronted by a man with a knife.

Police said that the man fled to room 49 where the person occupying that room got away and so the man then barricaded himself in the room while police and SWAT attempted to negotiate with him. During negotiations a standoff ensued and at least two officers shot 40mm sponge rounds before the suspect threatened offices with a knife.

At that point, three officers fired at the suspect, killing him. Aurora Fire Rescue and other medics on the scene administered first aid. The suspect was taken to the hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Authorities confirmed that multiple knives were recovered at the scene after the incident. Firefighters were able to get the fire under control and no people or pets were injured; the building was evacuated.

APD stated that the suspect was convicted of murder in 2005 and was sentenced to 28 years in prison, however, he was on parole at the time of the incident. The identity of the man is not being released until his next of kin is notified of the death.

 

In a separate incident, the Englewood Police Department (EPD) confirmed that a a 21-year-old man was fatally shot and one suspect is in custody.

On Monday night, July 4th, at approximately 10:40 p.m., police arrived at a home in the 3600 block of South Sherman Street after someone reported that a man had been shot.

Upon arrival, officers found the victim, identified as Kane Nathaniel Andres Acosta Woods, with a gunshot wound to the upper body. Officers administered first aid until Denver medics arrived. The victim was transported to a nearby hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Officers located and arrested 37-year-old Cordia Blash for the deadly shooting. Blash was booked into the Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Detention Facility first-degree murder and other charges.

In another incident, a man who is wanted for the attempted murder of is ex-girlfriend in Colorado, has been taken into custody by police in New Mexico.

According to the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office (JCSO), 46-year-old Yosmy Lorenz Martinez fled the scene after allegedly stabbing his ex-girlfriend multiple times. He was found in New Mexico and is currently in custody at a detention facility in Colfax County, New Mexico. He is awaiting extradition to Colorado.

On July 3rd, witnesses reported that a woman had come from a trail and ended up in the parking lot off Waterton Road by the Denver Audubon Nature Center, covered in blood and asking for help.

 

The woman reportedly told authorities that Martinez confronted her after she got off work at her job around 7 p.m. and told her to get in his car. He drove them to a trail, walked for a few minutes then pulled a knife out and stabbed her multiple times.

As of this writing, she is in the hospital with life-threatening injuries. Martinez is facing charges of attempted first-degree murder.


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