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The primary suspect in the fatal stabbing of 18-year-old Nia Wilson this weekend in California was only arrested on Monday, but there already appears to be sympathy brewing for him. The family of James Cowell released a statement saying he is “mentally ill,” which is no excuse for the cold-blooded killing.

READ MORE: Black Teen Fatally Stabbed And Sister Attacked In Oakland

See the full statement from the Cowell family:

First and foremost, we want to let the Wilson Family know that our hearts go to them & are mourning for your family. This horrific tragedy never should have happened. 

Unfortunately, John has been suffering from mental illness most of his life. He has been in & out of Jail & has not had the proper treatment. When he was released from the Atascadero State Mental Facility inside the Atascadero State Prison on 5/8/18, there was not a place for him to go with most of the mental institutions being shut down. Knowing that he was diagnosed with being bi-polar & schizophrenia, the system has failed in this instance. We had to get a restraining order at one time as well for our own protection. He was living on the streets without the proper treatment. This is in no way an excuse for this senseless and vicious attack. 

The Concord Home in which they kept referring to is John’s Aunt. He did NOT live there as he was a transient as reported. She has had death threats and constant harassment. She too has lost 2 sons at young ages to tragic deaths. She, as our entire family is heartbroken for the Wilson Family. Our prayers go out to everyone in their family.

The Cowell family would have been better off not mentioning mental illness, considering it has been proven time and again that being mentally ill does not equal being violent. Nia Wilson’s father, Ansar Muhammade, said the family saying Cowell was “mentally ill” was a cop-out.

“I think it’s an excuse,” he explained to the Associated Press. “I hate to say that, but, you know, why would you choose two Black girls? I should be planning her graduation, not her funeral.”

District Attorney Nancy O’Malley said her office will investigate if the attack was racially motivated, even though there have been unconfirmed reports he wore clothes that Skinheads wear. See below:

Our condolences go out to Nia Wilson’s friends and family, especially her sister, Malika, who was stabbed as well but was recovering.


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