Amy Preasmyer received a massive shock upon returning to her Lancaster, California, apartment on August 12, 1997, as she found her 21-year-old boyfriend, Ricky Cowles Jr., lying unresponsive in a pool of her own blood. Although she immediately called 911, first responders arrived to find Ricky dead, and the police determined that the victim was shot to death from a close range.
‘Dateline: Killing Time’ chronicles the horrific incident and portrays how the ensuing police investigation led straight to Amy Preasmyer. If you are intrigued by the details surrounding the crime and want to find out where Amy is at present, we have you covered.
Who Is Amy Preasmyer?
A native of California, Amy has been carefree and lively for most of her life. Her high school friends described Amy as a typical girl next door who loved making new friends and indulging in new experiences. Moreover, like most teenagers, Amy loved to party and was quite popular among her tight-knit group of friends. Interestingly, Ricky Cowles Jr. was the brother of one of her high school friends, and Amy initially met him at a house party.
At that time, Ricky had graduated college and was working as an electrician in his family business. Since his job dealt with risky high-voltage lines, it paid pretty well, and reports mention that he bought a BMW shortly before meeting Amy for the first time. On top of it, Ricky was also pretty good-looking and had several girls at the party fight over him until Amy decided to make him hers. Nevertheless, Ricky fell in love with Amy at first sight and was ready to do anything for her.
Even though Amy was a sophomore at school, he took her on lavish trips and even bestowed her with uncountable gifts. In fact, Amy’s friends mentioned that she felt special and happy when with Ricky, and the two were even planning a life together. However, reality hit Amy hard when she discovered she was pregnant with Ricky’s child. The pregnancy was completely unplanned, and Amy had no desire to become a mother at just 16 years of age.
Yet, Amy was unable to go ahead with the decision to abort, and once Ricky took on the role of a doting father, she went along with the flow. However, the 16-year-old was not happy with the situation, and she constantly blamed him for ruining her life and burdening her with a child. Eventually, about a month before Ricky’s murder, he moved in with Amy and her friend, Jennifer Kellogg, into an apartment in Lancaster, California. Neighbors at the apartment complex mentioned they often heard Amy and Ricky getting into an altercation.
Still, nothing seemed out of the ordinary, and the tragedy was completely unpredictable. Amy returned to the Lancaster apartment at around 10 pm on August 12, 1997, only to find Ricky lying in a pool of his own blood in the master bedroom. However, he had passed away by the time the first responders arrived. An autopsy determined that the victim was shot to death at close range. On top of it, the police found no signs of forced entry, and nothing was stolen from the house, indicating that the murder was not a robbery but an inside job.
Unfortunately, the initial investigation was quite tough, and the case witnessed little to no progress during the initial few months. Although the police learned that Amy blamed Ricky for her condition, there was nothing to tie her to the crime. Besides, most of the victim’s acquaintances claimed he had no known enemies, which made the murder even more shocking. Still, the police received their first significant breakthrough when a tip informed them about a store clerk who had been talking about Ricky’s murder.
Upon investigating further, authorities learned that store clerk William Hoffman had boasted about killing Ricky to some of his friends. Interestingly, it did not take long for authorities to break William, as he gave in under tough questioning and confessed to the murder. As a result, he was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison without parole, along with ten additional years, in 1999.
Where is Amy Preasmyer Now?
While in prison, William became a Catholic, which made him pretty remorseful of his prior actions. Hence, he wrote a letter to Ricky’s family, through which he claimed he was hired by Amy to carry out the murder. William had talked about Amy’s involvement in his trial, even though she vehemently denied it back then. However, this time, the prosecutors noticed and soon discovered that Amy and her friend, Jennifer, had helped William plan the murder. On top of it, they even showed him specific hiding spots around the house, which he could later use for his ambush.
Consequently, without wasting time, the police arrested Amy and Jennifer before charging them for their roles in the crime. When presented in court, Amy Preasmyer pled not guilty and insisted on her innocence. However, there was a lot of evidence against her, and the jury was ultimately convinced that she was guilty. Hence, they convicted Amy of solicitation to commit murder, and she was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole in 2008.
Likewise, Jennifer Kellogg pled guilty to solicitation to commit murder and manslaughter, which fetched her 17 years in prison in 2008. Interestingly, prison records show that Amy’s sentence has since been amended, as she will be eligible for parole in 2029. However, at present, she remains behind bars at the Central California Women’s Facility in Chowchilla, California.
Read More: Billy Hoffman: Where is Ricky Cowles Jr’s Killer Now?