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12 Year Old Isaiah Fowler Still Behind Bars, Even Though Police Lack Evidence Tying Him to Sister's MurderJoy Graves Salem-News.com
Judge denies 12 year old brother of Leila Fowler's release, while his attorneys say there is no doubt Isaiah Fowler is innocent.
(ROHNERT PARK, CA) - As we previously reported, 8 year old Leila Fowler of Valley Springs, California was stabbed to death April 27th, her 12 year old brother is under arrest for the crime.
12-year-old brother Isaiah Fowler told Valley Springs, Calif., authorities that he had found his sister stabbed to death after an intruder broke into their home, but the investigation by police have concluded that in fact there were no adults at the house when the stabbing occurred.
The boy said he called his parents who had gone to a little league game after he'd found Leila bleeding severely. Soon-to-be step-mother Krystal was the one who alerted authorities to the scene, apparently unaware that Leila had been physically hurt when reviewing her call to dispatch, though Leila had at that point actually been stabbed 21 times and was laying dead in her bedroom.
"My children are at home alone and a man just ran out of my house. My older son was in the bathroom and my daughter started screaming," the panicked woman said in the 911 call released by the Calaveras County Sheriff's Office.
"When he came out, there was a man outside my house. I need an officer there."
Isaiah at that time told authorities that the intruder, whom he described as a tall man with a muscular build and long gray hair, fled the scene.
The boy's description launched a 15-day manhunt that included door-to-door searches and divers in a few reservoir's near the home, not to mention terrified neighbors.
The Calaveras County Sheriff's Office spent more than 2,000 man-hours collecting evidence & searching door-to-door along with agents from the FBI.
An autopsy determined Leila, at age 8, "died of shock and bleeding as a result of multiple stab wounds." Forensic evidence was taken from the family home including DNA, fingerprints, and several knives.
3 days after his sister's killing, the 12-year-old brother appeared at a candlelight vigil for her with their 19-year-old brother in which thousands attended where he said "I'm not saying goodbye to Leila," he said. "I'm saying 'See you later.' There are no goodbyes."
Layla's soon to be step-mother thanked the community for all of their support on behalf of the entire family, all of whom were there mourning their loss. Isaiah was noted holding his biological mother in a long tearful embrace at one point. Neighbors held many fundraisers for the family thereafter.
Also days after her death, approximately one week before Isaiah was arrested and charged with his sister's murder, the only witness that had claimed to have seen the fleeing man described by the brother, recanted her story.
The police then deemed the witness "not credible" and began telling the 7,500 residents they believed that there was no predator for them to be worrying about, which came to them as a puzzling shock.
Two weeks after the murder, May 11th 2013, Leila's 12 year old brother Isaiah was arrested & charged with second-degree murder with special circumstances for Leila's death, for "using a dangerous weapon in the crime."
The arrest took place at approximately 5:10 p.m. Saturday at the Valley Springs substation.
The boy's parents say that they will stand by their son and have since hired two attorney by the names of Steve Plesser & Mark Reichel to represent their son who stands accused in this horrific tragedy.
The children's biological mother, Priscilla Rodriguez, said during an exclusive interview with CBS Sacramento (channel 13), "There is no way Isaiah would hurt his sister" and insisted that he had never "pushed her around or anything like that as most brothers and sisters do", though she did later state that he was protective over Leila but insisted that she'd never seen him be violent nor aggressive toward Leila nor vise-verse.
"Until they have the proper evidence to show it's my son, we're standing behind him," said Barney Fowler, the children's father. "If they have the evidence, well that's another story. We're an honest family."
Leila's brother attended a closed juvenile court proceeding in shackles where he was arraigned on the charge. When asked if he understood the charge against him multiple times by the judge, he acknowledged and answered that he had, however he did not enter a plea at that time.
Isaiah's attorney's asked the courts if their client to be allowed to return home with his family, but thus far judge has thus far ordered the boy be held in juvenile detention and has scheduled his next court appearance for May 29th 2013.
The child's attorney's say they have yet to see any evidence indicating nor justifying the boy be charged. "We have no reason to have any doubts about our client's innocence," said attorney Steve Plesser.
Calaveras County Sheriff’s investigators however, say they found the blood and fingerprints of 12-year-old Isaiah Fowler, and sources close to the investigation say the DNA evidence was collected from the crime scene, which was Leila’s bedroom.
Talk among the neighbors in Valley Springs however is veering in the opposite direction, saying that it's what they'd feared all along; that Leila's brother -- not a mystery man the boy described -- might be responsible for the girl's stabbing death.
"Our kids are experiencing a lot of mixed emotions," said Superintendent Mark Campbell. "We have a degree of ease that it is not a random assailant, but it's a double whammy from our school perspective."
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