After a hearing that stretched over two days, the court ruled that statements made by Isaiah Fowler during the course of at least five (5) interviews with Calaveras County Sheriffs and the FBI were not made in a custodial setting. Various members of the Calaveras County Sheriff’s Department took the stand to inform the court that at not one time during these interviews did they consider Isaiah a suspect in the case despite the fact that he was the only other identifiable person in the house at the time of Leila’s murder. One investigator stated that it was normal to have witness to a murder undress for photographs of his body to look for signs of struggle or damage caused to their person. When asked when the last time the investigator had done that with a witness, he admitted it was about 25 years earlier.
Sheriff’s Deputies repeated that they consistently told the then 12 year old Isaiah that he was free to leave at any time. At the same Isaiah’s father was also pressing him for answers and was in the unique position of being the guardian of both the victim and the subject of the questioning which represents a very difficult conflict of interest for a grieving parent.
Trial remains scheduled to commence on August 12, 2014.