John Cowell, the 27-year-old man who was charged with the brutal killing of Nia Wilson and assault her sister in an Oakland train station last week, appeared in court yesterday for parole violation.
Cowell, who made an appearance in the East County Hall of Justice in Dublin yesterday ABC 7 reports, was recently released from prison on parole after serving two years for robbery.
At the hearing, Cowell said he could not afford an attorney so the judge set a Tuesday court date to address the need for counsel.
Last week, Wilson’s family packed a courtroom to attend the Cowell’s arraignment.
According to ABC7, dozens of Wilson’s friends and family showed up in court on Wednesday for Cowell’s arraignment. Many of them donned shirts with Wilson’s likeness on them.
“I’m just so sad for my baby that’s all I know,” said Alicia Grayson, Nia Wilson’s mother in an interview with ABC7. “She was smart, energetic, loved doing her makeup, her makeup, her makeup, her makeup… that makeup got on my nerves. I’m going to miss that makeup.”
Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’Malley says they are still trying to determine if the murder and attempted murder should be considered hate crimes. “There has to be evidence that it was motivated by hate and in this case, whether it was motivated by their gender or by their race, we’re still gathering the evidence to look at that,” said O’Malley.