John Lee Cowell, the man accused of fatally stabbing Oakland teen Nia Wilson this summer has been indicted by a grand jury.
Cowell faces murder and attempted murder charges according to the San Francisco Chronicle. The indictment was handed down last week, meaning the case against Cowell will head to trial instead of a preliminary hearing. As the Chronicle notes, the move will save an estimated 18 to 24 months of litigation.
“For me, it was really about efficiency, particularly for the family,” Assistant District Attorney Butch Ford said. “They ask that we try to proceed as efficient as possible so that they could, essentially, have their day in court.”
It’s unknown if prosecutors will seek capital punishment or not although an attorney for Wilson’s family in a civil case has previously said the family would support a decision by the district attorney to pursue the death penalty.
The attack occurred three months ago when Nia and her older sister Lahtifa were transferring trains at the MacArthur BART station in Oakland.
Lahtifa previously recounted how the incident happened.
“All of a sudden, we transfer, just to get blindsided by a maniac,” Lahtifa said. “She just yelled my name, ‘Tifa, Tifa, Tifa,’ and I said, ‘I got you baby, I got you.'”
As she was caring for Nia, Lahtifa saw Cowell staring back at them while wiping off his knife.
The Wilson family is also suing BART for the deadly stabbing.
“The lawsuit will demand BART to take corporate responsibility by admitting that BART is not a safe place for any passenger, and admitting that BART will make necessary changes with BART security to protect the passenger,” Arns Law Firm said.
Source: San Francisco Chronicle