Leila Fowler Death: 12-Year-Old Brother Charged With Second-Degree Murder; 911 Tapes Released
A 12-year-old boy has been charged in the recent stabbing death of his sister in Valley Springs, Calif.
Isaiah Fowler was the only one home when his younger sister, Leila, 8, was found stabbed to death on April 27. Fowler originally claimed an unknown long-haired man was fleeing the house when he found Leila.
Fowler has been charged with second-degree murder and for the use of a dangerous weapon, said Mark Reichel, a Sacramento defense attorney hired by the Fowler family to defend Isaiah.
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On Tuesday, Reichel said that while Fowler may have lied about the long-haired man, it doesn't mean his client killed his sister.
"He's 12," Reichel said. "The odds are just as good that he lied and gives a macho story that he chased away the attacker. Someone kills your sister? I'm not sure he didn't stay in the bathroom and cry,"
"We met with our client, a 12-year-old boy, and spent some quality time with him, and then we spent some time with the family, and we took a look at the house," Reichel said. "He is holding up remarkably well in tough circumstances." He added, "I stand behind my client 100 percent, and I stand in front of him to protect him, and with his family too."
Reichel met with Fowler in the juvenile jail where he is being held. He said that he has not yet reviewed the evidence against his client, which is in the hands of the district attorney's office.
Barney Fowler, the father of the Isaiah and Leila, told the AP that, "Until they have the proper evidence to show it's my son, we're standing behind him. If they have the evidence, well that's another story. We're an honest family."
Isaiah Fowler's fictitious story about the long-haired man led to a two-week door-to-door search by police, with the community of Valley Springs terrified that a child-killer was on the loose. Some neighbors remained skeptical of the boy's story about the mysterious long-haired man.
In a 911 call released yesterday, Crystal Walters, the mother of Isaiah and Leila, told the dispatcher, "My children are at home alone and a man just ran out of our house. My older son was in the bathroom and my daughter started screaming. He came out and a man was in the house. They said they're OK." The full audio transcript is available on CNN Justice.
Walters, who didn't know yet that her daughter had been stabbed, added, "My daughter is freaking out right now."
Isaiah Fowler is due to appear in juvenile court today.
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