San Andreas, CA — Calaveras County Judge Thomas A. Smith has sentenced the 15-year-old brother of Leila Fowler. He received the maximum sentence available and is expected to remain in custody until he is 23.
Isaiah Fowler was present at his 1:30 p.m. sentencing hearing in a Calaveras County court when Judge Smith handed down that sentence. Calaveras County District Attorney Barbara Yook, made this statement regarding the sentencing, “This case is an unimaginable tragedy for the Fowler Family and a horrific crime that has impacted an entire community. Our goal since April 27, 2013, has been to seek justice for Leila. We accomplished that goal today – to the extent allowed by law. Leila’s murder will always be a senseless tragedy but it is our hope that all who knew and loved Leila, her family, friends and community can go forward, remembering her as she was, and as she lived.”
On October 6, Judge Smith convicted Fowler of the second-degree murder with the use of a knife. As previously reported, Isaiah Fowler was 12-years-old when he stabbed his 8-year-old sister Leila more than 20 times in their Valley Springs home two and a half years ago. Isaiah was the only one home at the time of the slaying. He told police an intruder had killed his sister and ran from the home, prompting a manhunt. Asked what the most damaging evidence in the case was against Isaiah and his motive, Yook replied, “No comment.”
Yook also says that, by law, Fowler cannot be held past his 23rd birthday, but she notes that the Department of Juvenile Justice can release minors on parole before then. Calaveras County Chief Probation Officer Samuel Leach explains, “As he [Isaiah Fowler] is fifteen. He is under their [Dept. of Juvenile Justice] jurisdiction for a minimum of seven years, which is when he is eligible for a discharge date…that’s going to come obviously pretty close to his 23rd birthday. So, at that point, he would just be let go. They can’t have a jurisdiction after that no matter what.”
Leach says if Fowler were paroled before his 23rd birthday, the process is similar to that of adults, based on criteria such as good behavior.