A date for a new trial has been set for a minor whose conviction in 2015 of stabbing his 8-year-old sister to death at their family’s Valley Springs home was overturned by the California 3rd District Court of Appeal.
A date of June 19 has been set. A juvenile court judge will decide the case.
Isaiah Fowler, now 17, was found guilty of second degree murder by Judge Thomas A. Smith on Oct. 6, 2015, following a 17-day trial. He was sentenced about a month later to remain in custody until he was 23.
Fowler, who was 12 when his sister was murdered, was home with Leila Fowler, on April 27, 2013. He said he heard an intruder while he was in another room.
The children’s parents, Barney and Crystal Fowler, called 911 after receiving a call from Isaiah, who claimed he chased a 6-foot-tall man with a muscular build and shoulder-length gray hair out of the house.
Leila Fowler was taken by ambulance to Mark Twain Medical Center in San Andreas, where she was pronounced dead. Leila Fowler was stabbed more than 20 times.
A Calaveras County District Attorney’s Office representative said a hearing for Fowler was scheduled for 2:30 p.m. Friday at the Calaveras County Superior Court.
Following his conviction, Fowler was held in the custody of the California Youth Authority in the Stockton area. Fowler may have been relocated or will be held out of detention for the duration of his new trial, contingent on a decision by the presiding judge.
Isaiah Fowler’s conviction was overturned by a three-judge panel from the California 3rd District Court of Appeal on Feb. 22, which determined the juvenile court had inappropriately relied on statements made by Isaiah Fowler over the course of four interviews with Calaveras County Sheriff’s and FBI officials.
The appellate court said Isaiah Fowler was not adequately advised of his Miranda rights, and his father’s participation in the interviews could have contributed to inconsistent statements the judge used as the basis for the guilty verdict.
The state Attorney General’s Office had 15 days to request a rehearing by the appellate court, and then a 10-day window after 30 days to submit a petition for review by the California Supreme Court.
The case was sent back to the Calaveras County Superior Court after 60 days following the overturned conviction.