By Steve Large

VALLEY SPRINGS (CBS13) – An appeals judge has reversed the conviction of Isiah Fowler, the boy convicted of killing his 8-year-old sister Leila Fowler in 2013.

Twelve-year-old Isiah Fowler was the first to call 911, reporting he found his sister’s body inside their Valley Springs house and saw a suspect run away.

He quickly turned from a witness to a suspect, although Fowler maintained his innocence all along. Prosecutors said inconsistencies in his interviews immediately after the murder proved he was the killer and a court agreed.

Now that is all changing.

“It’s huge,” Isiah Fowler’s attorney Steve Plesser said.

An appeals judge ruled that interview evidence cannot be used because Isiah Fowler was not read his rights.

“He didn’t get an attorney, and he didn’t get his Miranda rights,” Plesser said. “Instead, he got badgered by law enforcement who tried to prove that he had killed his sister when he didn’t.”

Isiah Fowler’s mother, Crystal Walter, issued a statement reading, “It’s been a long five years. Isiah is innocent. Our family hopes to get justice and figure out who did this to Leila.”

Plesser says there is DNA evidence found on Leila that he says shows further proof Isiah Fowler was not the killer.

“So the DNA that was found on her body did not belong to our client, anyone in his family, any of the law enforcement or first responders, or crime scene technicians who were in the house, and no one who was in the federal database,” Plesser said.

The Calaveras County District Attorney’s office declined to comment on the reversal ruling.

The California Attorney General could file a petition for the California Supreme Court to review the reversal.

If not, the case goes back to the Calaveras County D.A., to decide whether to drop charges or retry the case again.


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