Concord Man Delays Entering Plea In Fatal Stabbing At BART Station

September 14, 2018 14:00 pm · 10 comments

A 27-year-old Concord man delayed entering a plea today on the murder charge he faces for the fatal stabbing of 18-year-old Nia Wilson at the MacArthur BART station in July because his attorney is waiting for prosecutors to turn over more evidence in his case.

John Lee Cowell is scheduled to return to court on Oct. 26 to enter a plea at that time on the charges he faces for the stabbing death of Wilson and the stabbing of Letifah Wilson, her 26-year-old sister, at about 9:36 p.m. on July 22.

Cowell is charged with murder for Nia Wilson’s death, attempted murder for the stabbing of her sister and a special circumstance allegation that he killed Wilson while lying in wait.

A large number of Wilson’s family members and friends have attended all of Cowell’s court hearings and they came to his brief hearing today as well.

Cowell has suffered from mental illness most of his life and has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, his family said in a statement after he was arrested on July 23.

Alameda County Public Defender Brendon Woods said after Cowell’s hearing today that Cowell is having a “difficult” time in custody.

Woods said one item of evidence the defense hasn’t yet been given is video surveillance footage of the fatal stabbing.

Simonpure September 14, 2018 at 2:21 PM

Cowell is having a “difficult” time in custody.

Awwww…poor baby!

ChuckStir September 14, 2018 at 2:34 PM

If he is having a difficult time in custody and he is mentally ill, he should of pleaded guilty by reason of insanity then he gets his ticket to an institution. Law 101

Law Dog September 14, 2018 at 3:10 PM

John, may you rot in Hell.

Cellophane September 14, 2018 at 3:42 PM


Walter White September 14, 2018 at 3:37 PM

More evidence? Our legal system is stupid.

Anon September 14, 2018 at 3:51 PM

Pretty sure jail isn’t supposed to be “easy” at all.

mev September 14, 2018 at 8:01 PM

Four days later at Concord BART — can you say repeat of the same episode. Luckily, young lady was on her cellphone telling someone how uncomfortable she was with Cowell #2 yelling and terrorizing everyone on the platform no shirt on, green sweatpants with no undies, wonderful! Luckily, this time the T.O. wouldn’t let him on the train. Thank you T.O. with Guts! This is more than BART Police would every do. They won’t even patrol the platform “proactively” and would walk right by this guy and let him Board because that’s what they do on the trains. 1000% Useless!

Citizen September 15, 2018 at 3:08 AM

I think people who kill others are all nuts but that does not give them a pass!
They have a choice. You do not give yourself permission to follow your emotions.

Oh, please September 15, 2018 at 7:27 AM

And the party line is that people with serious mental illness are not more dangerous than the general population…. right. I can attest first hand that is not true and the research is purposefully flawed in that area.

Shouldn't Have Happened.... September 15, 2018 at 3:12 PM

JohnnyLee was my neighbor for over 10 years. I saw his family try time after time to get him some help. He is not a white supremist. He is not racist. He is sick, legitimately mentally ill. It is not fake, it is not a cop out. What happened to Nia and her sister is undeniably tragic. But there were 3 victims that day….

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