The person accused of killing Nia Wilson at a BART station in Oakland, California final month may face the loss of life penalty after his homicide cost was upgraded on Wednesday.
An Alameda County District added a particular circumstance depend of “mendacity in wait” for 27-year-old John Lee Cowell, in accordance with East Bay Instances.
Cowell is accused of stabbing and killing 18-year-old Wilson on the night of July 22 whereas she and her sister waited at a BART station. He was arrested the next day after police looked for him for nearly 24 hours.
On high of qualifying for the loss of life penalty, Cowell may obtain life in jail with out parole if he’s convicted for Wilson’s loss of life, per the report.
“I’m deeply involved that they’re now looking for loss of life presumably for somebody that has extreme, extreme psychological sickness,” Alameda County Public Defender Brendon Woods mentioned on the listening to, per East Bay Instances.
Cowell can be charged with tried homicide after stabbing Wilson’s sister, Lahtifa Wilson, within the neck. He additionally acquired a cost for utilizing a lethal weapon.
It’s unclear if the alleged assault was racially motivated, Cowell is White and Wilson was Black, one thing that Cowell’s lawyer dismissed.
“What we now have right here is somebody who was launched by a state hospital simply 75 days earlier than this incident,” Woods mentioned. “He suffers from extreme psychological sickness, and that’s why we’re right here at this time.”
Cowell, who’s a convicted felon stemming from a 2016 second-degree theft, will subsequent seem in court docket on Sept. 14.