Death penalty decision delayed in Nia Wilson BART stabbing case

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The family of Nia Wilson, the young woman stabbed to death at Oakland's MacArthur BART station, wants the death penalty for her suspected killer. (KGO-TV)

The family of Nia Wilson, the young woman stabbed to death at Oakland's MacArthur BART station, wants the death penalty for her suspected killer.

But they won't get an answer for three more weeks after Alameda County Prosecutors delayed that decision during a Tuesday court hearing.

RELATED: 'He was wiping off his knife': BART stabbing victim recalls horrific attack that killed sister

John Lee Cowell faces murder and attempted murder charges in connection with the attack against 18-year-old Nia and her sister Letifah Wilson back on July 22, 2018.

Cowell was set to enter a plea on Tuesday, but that was delayed as prosecutors announced that they had not decided whether to seek the death penalty.

A month after Cowell was arrested at another BART station, prosecutors added a special circumstance allegation that he killed while 'lying in wait.'

That special circumstance could result in either the death penalty or life in prison without parole if Cowell's convicted.

RELATED: Grand jury indictment obtained against suspect in murder of Nia Wilson at BART station

Prosecutors obtained a grand jury indictment in October in an effort to speed up the case.

But several of Nia Wilson's family members who attended the latest court hearing in Oakland said the case is taking a toll.
"This process is going too slow for me and our families," said Wilson's father Ansar El Muhammed.

"We already been dealt the death sentence with the murder of our daughter. Like I said it's getting very frustrating and I wish this process would move on."

RELATED: Nia Wilson's family files claim against BART after fatal stabbing

Police say Wilson was attacked at random.

Cowell's attorneys say he suffers from severe mental illness and was released from a state hospital just 75 days before Wilson was killed.

Wilson's mother Alicia Grayson said she "definitely," thinks Cowell should get the death penalty.

"100 percent...1,000 percent," Grayson said.

RELATED: VIDEO: Chilling dispatch call describes terrifying fatal MacArthur BART stabbing

For more stories and videos on the Nia Wilson case go here.
Related Topics:
BARTcrimeNia WilsonOaklandWest Oakland
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