Thu, May 16, 2013 - Page 7 News List

Boy, 12, charged with stabbing sister, 8, to death

AP, SACRAMENTO, California

The attorney for the 12-year-old boy accused in the stabbing death of his eight-year-old sister at their home in central California said murder charges have been filed against the boy.

Attorney Mark Reichel told KTVU-TV on Tuesday evening that his client has been charged with second-degree murder and a special allegation for use of a dangerous weapon.

Reichel had said earlier on Tuesday that the boy might have lied about seeing a long-haired intruder fleeing the scene, but that does not make the boy the killer.

Also on Tuesday, Reichel visited the home where eight-year-old Leila Fowler was found on April 27 with knife wounds. Her brother was the only one home.

The boy told police he scared off an intruder. The children’s parents believed their daughter was fine when they made an emergency call to authorities from another location.

A recording released on Tuesday indicates a woman called the emergency dispatcher after getting a call about a mystery intruder from the girl’s 12-year-old brother, who was arrested on Saturday in connection with the killing.

The caller, who said she was the girl’s mother, said the children, including Leila Fowler, were OK. She was not at home at the time.

“My children are at home alone and a man just ran out of our house. My older son was in the bathroom and my daughter started screaming. He came out and a man was in the house,” the panicked caller says in the call made on April 27.

“They said they’re OK,” she added. “My daughter is freaking out right now.”

In fact, Leila Fowler was dying of stab wounds.

Her brother told police he scared off an intruder. For two weeks, Calaveras County sheriff’s investigators searched door to door for witnesses and evidence.

Reichel, who met with the boy on Tuesday, said his client might have made up a “macho” story about scaring away the intruder because he was scared.

Reichel said he and his law partner Steve Plesser had not yet seen the evidence against their young client, which is in the hands of the Calaveras County district attorney’s office. The boy was due to appear in juvenile court yesterday.

Reichel had said earlier on Tuesday that after visiting with the boy, he and Plesser met with the family and toured the hillside home where the stabbing took place.

“They’re all doing as well as can be expected under the circumstances, and the circumstances are not good,” Reichel said.

Reichel said the boy’s story about interrupting a long-haired intruder who fled the home sounds like bravado, not an excuse to cover up a killing.

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