Dateline: Ricky Cowles Murder, Why Did Amy Preasmyer Kill Him? Case Details

Ricky Cowles

Ricky Cowles Murder: “Killing Time,” a two-hour program on “Dateline NBC,” will investigate the 1997 murder of Richard “Ricky” Cowles Jr. in his Gadsden Avenue apartment and the reason why Amy Preasmyer killed him. To learn the details about the case, keep reading.

This Friday, May 5, 2023, “Dateline NBC” will air a two-hour program titled “Killing Time,” which will delve into the 1997 murder case of Richard “Ricky” Cowles Jr. in his Gadsden Avenue apartment.

The episode will feature an interview with the convicted killer of Cowles, William “Billy” Hoffman, and his account of the night when the victim was found lying in a pool of blood in his Lancaster apartment.

The program will air at 9 p.m. on NBC, and it is set to provide an in-depth look into the case that has left many unanswered questions despite courtroom testimony.

Viewers can expect to hear from other parties involved, such as Debbie and Rick Cowles Sr., Larry, and Georgia Preasmyer, retired Los Angeles Sheriff’s Detective Larry Brandenburg, and more.

The program’s focus on the Ricky murder case and the exclusive interview with the killer himself will undoubtedly provide new insights and shed light on this tragic event that shocked the local community over two decades ago.

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Dateline: Ricky Cowles Murder

On August 27, 1997, a frantic call was made to 911 by high school student Amy Preasmyer and her friends after discovering Cowles Jr., Preasmyer’s boyfriend, lying in a pool of blood in his apartment.

Months later, police arrested a man named Hoffman for the murder, but the victim’s family was convinced there was more to the story. In Friday’s “Dateline,” the killer, Hoffman, speaks out about what happened on that tragic night.

Ricky Cowles Murder
On May 5, 2023, “Dateline NBC” will air a two-hour program titled “Killing Time,” which will delve into the 1997 murder case of Richard “Ricky” Cowles Jr. (Source: YouTube)

Hoffman was convicted in 1999 of the victim’s murder and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for beating him with a claw hammer and shooting him with a.32-caliber semi-automatic pistol.

Ricky Cowles Murder: Why Did Amy Preasmyer Kill Him?

The question of why 21-year-old electrician Richard “Ricky” Cowles Jr. was killed in his Lancaster apartment in August 1997 by his girlfriend, Amy Preasmyer, has long been a source of speculation and investigation.

Trial testimony indicated that Preasmyer despised and resented her boyfriend because her pregnancy interrupted her partying lifestyle.

Amy was a pregnant 16-year-old at the time of the murder. She was convicted of murder, solicitation of murder, and conspiracy to murder in 2007, eight years after her death.

Deputy District Attorney Michael Blake said that it was clear that she was at the center of the conspiracy to murder her partner and that she blamed him for ruining her life by getting her pregnant.

Preasmyer’s co-defendant William “Billy” Hoffman, who was convicted of the victim’s murder and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole, testified that Jennifer Kellogg, another co-defendant, asked him, if he was willing to kill somebody.

Amy Preasmyer

Amy and Kellogg took Hoffman on a tour through the apartment, explaining Cowles Jr.’s usual schedule and advising Hoffman that he would likely try to fight back.

Hoffman decided he would have to disable Ricky first, so he brought along a claw hammer and a gun.

The motive for the murder remains unclear, but it is believed that Preasmyer wanted out of the relationship, possibly because of Kellogg.

Ricky Cowles Murder Case Details

There were two other defendants in the case, Jennifer Kellogg and David Ashbury. Kellogg, who stayed with the couple at their apartment for approximately a week in August 1997, pleaded guilty to lesser charges, including voluntary manslaughter, and was sentenced to 17 years in prison.

On the other hand, Ashbury was sentenced in 2006 to two years in prison for supplying the pistol that killed Ricky. Despite courtroom testimony, the slaying remains unexplained.

Jennifer Kellogg and David Ashbury
Debbie and Rick Cowles, parents of 21-year-old electrician Ricky Cowles Jr. (Source: Antelope Valley Press}

Hoffman, at one point, said he killed the victim for beating his partner, but he admitted in court that it was a lie concocted in the hope of making the murder appear noble. Hoffman believed he would be paid for killing him, but he never was.

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