Man Who Stabbed Sisters on BART Platform Was Sane at Time, Judge Says

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A Bay Spot guy who stabbed two sisters on a commuter teach platform in Oakland, Calif., two years in the past, killing a single and wounding the other, was sane at the time of the murder, a decide ruled Monday.

The gentleman, John Lee Cowell, 29, was convicted of initially-degree murder past 7 days in the killing of Nia Wilson, 18, on a Bay Place Rapid Transit system. He was also found guilty of the attempted murder of her sister Letifah Wilson, 27.

A few times into a jury’s deliberations on regardless of whether Mr. Cowell was criminally crazy, Decide Allan Hymer intervened to reject his insanity defense.

The selection arrived a working day after Gov. Gavin Newsom of California known as for the isolation at dwelling of all residents 65 yrs and older to restrict the distribute of the new coronavirus and to defend the folks most at risk. Four of the 12 jurors, along with the decide, are above the age of 65. The choose stepped in to make the selection himself to protect against jurors from continuing to deliberate in particular person.

Jonathan Davis, a lawyer for the Wilson loved ones, mentioned the spouse and children was grateful that Decide Hymer intervened.

“Cowell will be behind bars for the rest of his days,” Mr. Davis said. “Now the family is searching ahead to creating BART a secure and accountable technique for everyone.”

Christina Moore, the community defender for Mr. Cowell, said they have been “disappointed that the choose took the situation away from the jurors of Alameda County right after they experienced by now been deliberating for times.”

The Alameda County prosecutor, Amilcar Ford, did not answer to a ask for for remark.

Mr. Cowell faces existence in jail without the possibility of parole. He would have been despatched to a psychiatric hospital if he experienced been found criminally insane.

The sentencing is scheduled for April 14.

Mr. Cowell, who pleaded not guilty by explanation of madness, has a heritage of violence and psychological ailment. He experienced two prior felony convictions — for robbery and assault with a lethal weapon — for which he served time in a point out jail.

In the course of the demo, Mr. Cowell had testified that he thought the sisters had been component of a gang of aliens that kidnapped his grandmother, in accordance to The Mercury Information. The prosecutor requested Mr. Cowell, who is white, if he stabbed Nia and Letifah Wilson because they have been black, and he responded by expressing the sisters did not have a permit for standing about him, the newspaper documented.

In July 2018, Nia Wilson and her sisters Letifah and Tashiya ended up returning from a family members occasion when they bought on the exact same teach as Mr. Cowell at the Harmony BART station. Just after they stepped off the practice, Mr. Cowell slashed Nia Wilson’s throat and stabbed Letifah. Tashiya Wilson was not injured.

The stabbings, which had been caught on surveillance cameras, highlighted issues about the security of the BART system, one of the biggest in the United States and a crucial means of commuting for individuals residing in distinct elements of the Bay Region.

Violent crimes on BART much more than doubled in 2018 from 2014, in part due to the fact of an maximize in fare evasion, The San Francisco Chronicle claimed, citing a report produced by the Alameda County civil grand jury.

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