Three Judge Panel Overturns Conviction For Isiah Fowler

Three Judge Panel Overturns Conviction For Isiah Fowler

A three judge panel for California’s 3rd District Court of Appeal in Sacramento issued a ruling Thursday overturning the conviction of Isiah Fowler. Fowler was found guilty of second-degree murder in the stabbing death of his 8 year old sister Leila, by Calaveras County Superior Court Judge Thomas A. Smith on October 6, 2015, to remain in custody until he’s 23 years old. In the 58 page ruling that overturned the conviction, the three-judge panel determined the juvenile court had inappropriately relied upon statements made by Fowler over the course of four separate interviews with Calaveras Sheriff’s and FBI investigators in the days after his sister’s death. The appellate court ruled that Fowler was not appropriately advises of his Miranda Rights and Barney Fowler’s participation in one of the interviews could have contributed in inconsistent statements the judge used as part of the basis for the guilty verdict. The case gained national attention, when Isiah Fowler, 12 at the time, told investigators he was home with his sister and reported hearing an intruder while he was in another room. The boy later told investigators he had chased the intruder out of the house and found his sister lying in the corner suffering from multiple stab wounds. Leila Fowler was taken by ambulance to Mark Twain Medical Center in San Andreas, where she died later that same day. The California Attorney General could file a petition for the California Supreme Court to review the reversal. If not, the case goes back to the Calaveras County D.A., to decide whether to drop charges or retry the case again. Fowler, now 17, will remain in custody at a California Youth Authority Facility at least until the case makes its way back to Calaveras County Superior Court, at which point that court will have to determine whether he should be detained pending a new trial. The Calaveras County District’s Attorney Office declined to comment because it’s pending case that involves a juvenile. 

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