Nia Wilson killer found guilty of murder at BART Station

Jurors also convicted John Lee Cowell of premeditated attempted murder for the stabbing of Wilson's sister, Letifah

Nia Wilson John Cowell thegrio.com
Nia Wilson | John Cowell

After a painful trial, the man who fatally stabbed 18-year-old Nia Wilson at the MacArthur BART station in Oakland in 2018 has been convicted.

According to a local NBC affiliate,  Tuesday, after only two hours of deliberation, a jury found John Lee Cowell guilty of first-degree murder and other charges.

READ MORE: Family of Nia Wilson files wrongful death lawsuit against BART Police

On the evening of July 22, 2018, the 29-year-old transient man with a history of mental illness got on the train at the same time as Wilson and her two sisters, sitting directly across from her as she stood. He rode the subway car for six while stealing glances at her.

“She didn’t like BART. She thought it was nasty,” Wilson’s sister, Tashiya, testified during the trial as to why the teen didn’t sit down like her sisters during the ride.

READ MORE: Nia Wilson’s family packs courtroom for John Cowell’s arraignment

 

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ABC 7 reports the Oakland courtroom was eerily silent as prosecutor Butch Ford played the 26-minute surveillance video of Wilson’s final train ride. It culminated in her being stabbed to death by Cowell at the MacArthur station at about 9:35 p.m.

Jurors also convicted Cowell of premeditated attempted murder for stabbing Wilson’s sister Letifah Wilson, who fortunately survived the attack. The 27-year-old who still has pain from being stabbed in the neck said she harbors deep regret that she wasn’t able to save her sibling.

“That was my little sister and I am always supposed to protect my little sister,” she said.

Cowell pled not guilty by reason of insanity and could face life in prison without the possibility of parole.