A 12-year-old California boy denied killing his younger sister.
Isaiah Fowler stands accused of second-degree murder. His lawyer said on Wednesday that his client denies killing the girl. He added that he is planning a rigorous defense to prove the boy’s innocence.
“Our view of the case hasn’t changed. We got in believing our client was innocent, and as we stand here, that’s what we believe,” Mark Reichel, the boy’s lawyer, told reports after the hearing. “We’re concerned about whether or not a 12-year-old can actively participate in his own defense.”
A bench trial has been set for July 31 in juvenile court. If the boy is found guilty of murdering his sister, then he won’t get out of jail until his mid-20s.
The eight-year-old girl was murdered in her home last month. Although her brother said that an intruder sneaked into their California home and stabbed her to death, authorities soon turned their attention to the boy. The 12-year-old has since denied the murder charge.
Fowler and his sister Leila were alone at their house when the murder took place. The boy called his parents after the killing took place, who then summoned police to the home. They discovered that the little girl had been stabbed 21 times inside her bedroom.
A manhunt soon began for the person responsible for the murder. Isaiah even provided officers with a detailed description. However, police later determined that no adults were inside the home when the stabbing took place. Isaiah was later arrested and charged with the crime.
It’s yet to be determined if the boy will be tried as a juvenile or an adult. Should the courts decide to try him as an adult, Fowler could spend quite a bit of his young life behind bars.
“Juvenile law is different than adult criminal law because the goal of juvenile law is rehabilitation. The goal of adult law is punishment,” legal Analyst Bill Portanova explained.
What do you think about the 12-year-old denying the murder charge over his sister’s death? Do you think the boy should be tried as a juvenile or an adult?