The 27-year-old man accused of murder and attempted murder for allegedly stabbing two women at the MacArthur BART Station last month could face the death penalty under a special circumstance allegation recently added to the charges against him.
John Lee Cowell was scheduled to enter a plea Wednesday morning to charges that he murdered 18-year-old Nia Wilson and attempted to murder her sister on the BART station platform on the evening of July 22.
But his attorney, Deputy Public Defender Christina Moore, told the court she was still waiting for prosecutors to turn over evidence in the case, including any proof that Cowell killed Wilson by "lying in wait," a legal term generally meaning he concealed his intentions, waited for an opportunity to act or took his target by surprise.
Prosecutors amended the charges against Cowell in a court filing Friday to include the lying-in-wait allegation, which enhances a possible sentence to include life in prison without the possibility of parole or the death penalty, if prosecutors pursue capital punishment at a later stage in the case.
A spokesman for the Alameda County District Attorney's Office provided the latest filing but did not respond to questions about the case.