12-Year-Old Denies Charge: Where Does The Leila Fowler Case Stand? [UPDATE]

By Philip Ross on May 30, 2013 11:10 AM EDT

Leila Fowler
Isaiah Fowler, who was arrested in the stabbing death of his sister Leila Fowler, has been charged with second-degree murder. The 12-year-old denies the charge against him. (Photo: KTXL Fox 40 / YouTube)

12-year-old Isaiah Fowler denies the charge that he murdered his younger sister, Leila Fowler. In juvenile court on Wednesday, Isaiah Fowler denied through his attorney that he stabbed his eight-year-old sister in their Calfifornia residence last month, Reuters reports.

Isaiah Fowler is accused of killing Leila Fowler on April 27 in Valley Springs, Calif., about 60 miles southeast of Sacramento. IScience Times reported that Isaiah Fowler was the only person present in the home when eight-year-old Leila Fowler was found stabbed to death. The 12-year-old brother told police that a tall man with long gray hair had come onto the property and murdered his sister.

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The police, however, found no sign of forced entry or burglary at the Fowler residence. Still, investigators pursued every possible avenue, combing through attics and sheds around the area and interviewing sex offenders.

Eventually, the brother's story began to unravel, and authorities arrested 12-year-old Isaiah Fowler on Saturday, May 11, under suspicion that he killed his younger sister.

Now, the 12-year-old who denies the charges faces a possible second-degree murder conviction.

"Our view of the case hasn't changed," Mark Reichel, one of Isaiah Fowler's lawyers, said outside the courtroom after Wednesday's hearing. "We got in believing our client was innocent, and as we stand here, that's what we believe."

If convicted of second-degree murder, the 12-year-old who denies the charge against him would spend the next 11 years in prison, until his 23rd birthday.

Of all the juvenile arrests in California in 2005, 74 percent were male. According to California's Legislative Analyst's Office, or LAO, young males also accounted for over 80 percent of all juvenile felony arrests. There were almost 223,000 juvenile arrests in California in 2005. From LAO:

Violent crimes, including homicide, rape, and robbery, accounted for 25 percent of all juvenile felony arrests. There were a total of 171 juvenile arrests for homicide in 2005, less than one-half of 1 percent of all juvenile felony arrests.

Most juvenile arrests, however, are for misdemeanor crimes.

The age a person is considered a juvenile varies by state. In California, a person can be tried in juvenile court through the age of 17. In 2005, the Supreme Court found the death penalty unconstitutional for juveniles.

Read more from iScience Times:

Leila Fowler Death: 12-Year-Old Brother Charged With Second-Degree Murder; 911 Tapes Released

12-Year-Old-Arrested: How Will Brother Be Charged In Leila Fowler Murder Case?

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