OAKLAND, Calif. (KTVU) - The Alameda County District Attorney's Office on Monday said it will not seek the death penalty against the man accused of killing 18-year-old Nia Wilson more than a year ago.
Last month, Superior Court Judge James Cramer ruled that the suspect in the case, John Lee Cowell, was mentally competent to stand trial despite his mental illness. Cramer said the decision was based in part on a recent doctor's report.
UPDATE: @AlamedaCountyDA not seeking death penalty against John Cowell, who was found mentally competent last month to stand trial in unprovoked stabbing at MacArthur @SFBART Station in Oakland that killed Nia Wilson pic.twitter.com/XWS9obV3Nv— Henry K. Lee (@henrykleeKTVU) August 19, 2019
Cowell is charged with murder and attempted murder in the for allegedly stabbing Wilson and her sister, 26-year-old Letifah Wilson, on the platform at the MacArthur station at 9:36 p.m. last July 22.
He's also charged with a special circumstance allegation that he killed Wilson while lying in wait, an allegation that could result in life in prison without parole if he's convicted.
A plea hearing is scheduled for Oct. 11 and the trial is set for Jan. 6