Man Who Killed Nia Wilson Sentenced To Life In Prison
The man convicted of stabbing 18-year-old Nia Wilson to death at an Oakland BART station in 2018 has been sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
On Friday (July 17), an Alameda County Superior Court judge imposed the sentence for John Lee Cowell after hearing emotional statements by members of Wilson’s family.
Wilson was brutally stabbed with a knife by Cowell as she and her two sisters exited a BART train on July 22, 2018.
Letifah, Wilson’s sister who suffered severe injuries to her neck but survived the attack, said she struggled to forgive Cowell for murdering her younger sister.
“You are inhuman. I can’t forgive you for that. I have to forgive you for the peace of my family,” she said, according to NBC Bay Area.
“You took our baby,” Tashiya Wilson, Nia’s sister and a witness to the attack, said to Cowell. “I’ll never be OK, never.” She also said she wished Cowell had received the death penalty.
Cowell did not address the court during the virtual sentencing. He had previously pleaded guilty by reason of insanity.
Cowell, who is white, was not charged with a hate crime, but the Wilson family had maintained that the Black women were attacked because of their race.
During his trial in March, Cowell was quickly found guilty during deliberation. Judge Allan Hymer rendered a verdict that he was sane at the time of the attack.