MUSKEGON, Mich. — Amy Black will spend 35-60 years in prison for the beating, death, and robbery of David VanBogelen.
Initially, she was sentenced to life without parole for David's death, and life for the armed robbery in the commission of a felony.
A 2012 Supreme Court ruling states that a sentencing authority must consider a juvenile offender’s youth before sentencing them to life without parole.
According to that case, as long as the sentencing authority has both considered the offender’s youth and has the ability to impose a lesser sentence, the sentencing authority may sentence the juvenile to life without parole, which is how this new sentence came to be.
VanBogelen was found stabbed to death. He was killed on December 7, 1990, after Black and then-boyfriend Jeff Abrahamson noticed the money in his wallet.
Black admitted to striking VanBogelen over the head with an empty Jack Daniels bottle.
Abrahamson is serving life for stabbing and killing VanBogelen.
The family of David VanBogelen says it was Amy behind the death of David, recounting her initial statements decades ago.
"Like she said, she wanted to know what it felt like to kill someone and the cops did not know it was you, and that's what she did," David's widow, Barbra VanBogelen said.
Amy exhibited a much different tone in court Wednesday, expressing her remorse towards the VanBogelen family.
“There will never be a day. That I won’t feel the same pain that I feel every single day. Or the same guilt, or the same remorse… that I’m going to continue to feel for the rest of my life,” Amy Black said.
The VanBogelen family gasped and held their head in their hands after hearing Muskegon Circuit Court Judge Hick's decision.
“Totally wrong. Dave can’t come back, so why should she get a chance to be out? Just wrong,” Barbra VanBogelen said.
The matter of parole for Black and restitution still need to be addressed. The VanBogelen family says they will be there with each other every step of the way, facing this as a family unit.