Ricky Cowles Jr. Murder – “Dateline,” an American television news magazine airing since 1992 on NBC, specializes in true crime investigations that span cold cases, missing persons cases, and murder investigations. The show is known for its exhaustive reporting and in-depth interviews with key participants involved, such as law enforcement officials, victims’ families, or even suspects themselves.
Dateline featured one of its cases — that of Ricky Cowles Jr.’s murder in Lancaster, California — on August 12, 1997. Ricky was found dead in his bedroom, and the community was stunned at this violent act. The documentary “Dateline: Killing Time” gives an in-depth account of both his murder and the subsequent police investigation that led to the arrest of the perpetrator; it also sheds light on its complexity and shows their dedication to seeking justice on behalf of Ricky and his family.
Ricky Cowles Jr’s Murder Story
Ricky Cowles Jr. was an experienced 21-year-old electrician from Lancaster, California, when he was found shot in his bedroom on August 12th 1997. Well-liked among friends and family alike, Ricky was described by Amy Preasmyer as a “kind and helpful young man.” Amy returned home that afternoon only to find Ricky dead with a headshot wound in their bedroom.
Initial investigations showed no indications of theft or forced entry, leading investigators to believe the killing may have been committed by someone with access to Cowles’ apartment. No suspect was immediately identified despite investigators’ best efforts – until years later when John Ruetten was charged with Cowles’ killing.
Dateline: Killing Time” documents the events surrounding Ricky’s brutal murder and the subsequent police investigation that led to his arrest. Interviews with family, friends, and law enforcement officials offer an intimate look into this complex investigation process.
Ricky Cowles Jr.’s murder in Lancaster remains one of the city’s darkest chapters, and Dateline: Killing Time explores its impact. Despite passing years, this case remains as an emotional reminder that we need justice and accountability in such tragic cases.
Investigation and Prosecution in Ricky Cowles Jr. Murder Case
Ricky Cowles Jr.’s murder in his Lancaster apartment left investigators with few leads for investigation. Police conducted extensive searches of both his apartment and the surrounding neighborhood but found no leads that might point them in any particular direction for who killed him; door-to-door detective work also proved fruitless in uncovering any leads; to help solve this case further, additional information had to be gathered about him from friends and relatives of the victim.
Ricky worked as an electrician at his family business and had recently moved in with Amy Preasmyer and their mutual friend Jennifer Kellogg. Although popular among his peers, police eventually learned of ongoing tension between Ricky and Amy; Amy returned home on August 12, 1997 to discover her boyfriend shot to death in their bedroom with no signs of forceful entry or theft.
After receiving information that a store employee, William Hoffman, had confessed to murdering Ricky, their investigation took an unexpectedly significant turn. At William’s trial, he admitted Amy asked him to kill Ricky; Amy herself, Jennifer Kellogg, and David Ashbury were arrested as potential conspirators in planning his assassination.
Amy PreasmyerWilliam Hoffman was sentenced to life without parole after being found guilty of first-degree murder in 1999 for the killing of Ricky Cowles Jr. When Amy Preasmyer and Jennifer Kellogg were discovered as key figures in the plot, welcoming William into their apartment, discussing strategies, and giving away hiding spots to him, they were arrested along with David Ashbury (their associate) by authorities; later David entered a no contest plea in court, leading him to receive two years imprisonment as an accessory after having pleaded no contest against the killing in 2006.
Amy was found guilty of soliciting murder and was sentenced to life without parole by the court in 2008. Jennifer Kellogg was found guilty of solicitation to commit murder and manslaughter and sentenced to 17 years. Prison records indicate that Jennifer has since been granted parole while Amy continues serving her term at Central California Women’s Facility in Chowchilla.
After being imprisoned for 18 years, William filed a petition for clemency with the governor. Per his petition and according to show continuity, William was eventually granted parole after serving his 20-year sentence and remained on probation in California. Ricky Cowles Jr’s murder is an example of violence with tragic results and underscores the need for accountability; Amy, Jennifer, and their associates’ involvement, as well as William’s conversion to Christianity and attempts at seeking forgiveness, demonstrate human relationships and its consequences as an explanation for violence.
Amy, Jennifer, and David’s prison sentences are a powerful message that violence will not be tolerated and justice will be served. Additionally, William’s parole release and efforts at redemption and atonement offer hope for rehabilitation and reform. Ultimately, the story of Ricky Cowles Jr’s murder is one of great tragedy but also serves as a powerful lesson on justice, accountability, and the potential for personal growth and change.