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Isaiah Fowler trial pushed back again

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Posted: Friday, December 6, 2013 6:00 am | Updated: 8:02 am, Tue Dec 10, 2013.

The trial date for Isaiah Fowler was pushed back two weeks at his court appearance Wednesday, Dec. 4.

The 13-year-old boy is accused of killing his 8-year-old sister, Leila, April 27, at their home in Rancho Calaveras.

The prosecutors and defense attorneys for the murder case met Wednesday afternoon in Courtroom 4 of the Calaveras County Superior Courthouse in San Andreas, where county-appointed Judge Thomas A. Smith presided.

In a bid to push the trial date back a few weeks, defense lawyer Mark Reichel employed a familiar refrain he’s used at other court appearances on Fowler’s behalf.

“We’re getting more evidence today,” he said, adding that the defense team expects “significantly more evidence later.”

The prosecution agreed to the request to delay the trial, and Judge Smith opted to move it back to Wednesday, March 19, from the original date of March 5, set by Judge John Martin last month.

In the meantime, “the minor will continue to be detained in juvenile hall,” Smith declared after Fowler, dressed in his usual tan, collared shirt and black jeans, agreed to waive time.

Fowler faces a second-degree murder charge in the stabbing death of his 8-year-old sister, Leila, April 27, at their home on Rippon Road, a few miles outside Valley Springs. Leila was stabbed multiple times and died shortly thereafter.

On the day Leila was killed, she was home alone with Isaiah at the family house while their father and his fiancée were attending a nearby Little League game. The boy initially told his parents and investigators a long-haired male intruder had entered the house. Isaiah told authorities he caught a glimpse of the man as he left.

This information led to a widespread manhunt throughout the Valley Springs area that came up empty. An extensive investigation by the Calaveras County Sheriff’s Office, along with assistance from the Federal Bureau of Investi-gation and Department of Justice, discredited the story about the intruder and eventually led to Fowler’s arrest.

After a two-week investigation, Isaiah was arrested on suspicion of murder May 11. He has been held at the juvenile detention facility in Placerville in El Dorado County since that time.

Fowler’s lawyers, Reichel and Steve Plesser, entered a not guilty plea May 29.

His March 19 trial is expected to last three weeks and will be preceded by a motions hearing March 5, when the defense hopes to exclude evidence collected as well as testimony made by Isaiah. Those motions must be filed by Feb. 10.

The court proceedings are open to the public, but there is limited space and no cameras or recording devices are allowed.

Contact Stephen Crane at stephen@calaverasenterprise.com. Send news tips to news.calent@gmail.com.

© 2015 Calaveras Enterprise. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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